New government, new competition laws?

Articles Written by Sar Katdare (Partner)

The new government has announced that it will conduct a "root and branch review" of Australia's competition laws within the first 100 days of taking office. A "root and branch" review will examine every aspect of competition law on a line by line basis.

The Minister for Small Business, Mr Bruce Billson, is responsible for competition and consumer affairs.

In addition to the name of the ministry, "Small Business", Mr Billson's speeches and press releases provide the best insight as to what the review may entail.

This includes:

  • greater protection for small businesses, including the extension of the unfair contracts regime to small business (currently the regime applies to standard form consumer contracts);
  • an "effects test" to the prohibition on misuse of market power (in addition to the existing "purpose test");
  • extension of the price signalling laws (which currently apply to the banking sector) to petrol and other sectors;
  • a strong focus on competition issues in the supermarket, banking, retail, airline and petrol sectors; and
  • changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct to strengthen its effectiveness.
Watch this space...


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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