Competition law 'root and branch' review

Articles Written by Sar Katdare (Partner)

The Government has now released draft terms of reference for its "root and branch" review of Australia's competition laws. A copy of the draft terms of reference is available here.

The terms of reference are extremely broad, focus on protecting small business, and may result in significant changes to every aspect of the Australian competition law landscape.

Key issues for review are:

  • the role, processes and enforcement powers of the ACCC and other state and territory regulators;
  • whether highly prescriptive competition laws are effective to meet their economic objectives;
  • whether the misuse of market power prohibition is effective;
  • potential extension of unfair contract terms regime to small business;
  • ensuring unconscionable conduct provisions adequately protect small business;
  • effectiveness of the national access regime under Part IIIA (subject to the current Productivity Commission enquiry);
  • review of key markets including grocery, petrol and utilities.

The Review Panel, which is yet to be determined, will conduct a public consultation process and deliver its final report to the Government by December 2014. 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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