Price signalling

Articles Written by Dr. Wolfgang Hellmann (Special Counsel)

On 24 November 2011, the Senate passed the Competition and Consumer Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2011 which introduces new prohibitions against disclosures of pricing and other competitively sensitive information. The new law will take effect six months after the Bill receives Royal Assent (most likely in June 2012).

The new law prohibits two types of price signalling, subject to a number of exceptions:

  • private disclosures of pricing information to competitors, irrespective of the purpose of the disclosure or its likely effect on competition; and
  • public or private disclosures of information about prices, capacity or strategy for the purpose of substantially lessening competition.

Regulations specifying the particular goods and services to which the new law will apply are still to be released. The Government has stated its intention that the new prohibitions will initially only apply to the banking sector, but has left open the possibility of extending it to other industry sectors in the future.

Important Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is comment of a general nature only and is not and nor is it intended to be advice on any specific professional matter. In that the effectiveness or accuracy of any professional advice depends upon the particular circumstances of each case, neither the firm nor any individual author accepts any responsibility whatsoever for any acts or omissions resulting from reliance upon the content of any articles. Before acting on the basis of any material contained in this publication, we recommend that you consult your professional adviser. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation (Australia-wide except in Tasmania).

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