The ACCC has issued a draft determination proposing to grant conditional authorisation to enable the Minerals Council of Australia, together with seven other mining and exploration industry associations and their members, to coordinate and collaborate to respond to shortages in certain critical services and supplies arising out of the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ACCC may grant authorisation which provides businesses with legal protection for arrangements that may otherwise risk breaching competition law but are not harmful to competition and/or are likely to result in overall public benefit. The ACCC considers that maintaining competition in the long term will be critical to benefit both consumers and the economy.
Providing a temporary mechanism to enable participants in the mining sector to respond collectively to critical shortages in supply, will assist its continued operation throughout the pandemic. The ACCC considers this to be of benefit to the public. The ACCC proposes to grant conditional authorisation until 30 June 2021. The condition will allow the ACCC to monitor the authorised conduct. The authorisation proposed to be granted by the ACCC is for the sole purpose of dealing with risks to the supply of critical services and supplies arising from the pandemic.
Further information about the ACCC’s decision is available on the ACCC public register at: Minerals Council of Australia.