Draft competition legislation released

The Federal Government has released a draft bill to change the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review), which includes the introduction of an ‘effects test’ as recommended by the Harper Review.

The draft legislation released on Monday includes reform to the misuse of market power provision (section 46), including the adoption of an ‘effects test’ which aims to protect small businesses from large corporations who abuse their market power.

The Federal Government announced it would back changes to section 46 earlier this year in March. Other amendments include broadening the definition of ‘competition’ to include potential imports of goods and services; and confining the cartel conduct provisions to conduct affecting competition in Australia.

Competition watchdog seeks feedback

Following the release of the draft bill, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a framework for guidance on how it proposes to approach the changes.

“We are interested in receiving comments or suggestions from interested parties regarding the proposed content of the guidelines outlined in this framework,” ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said.

“In particular, the ACCC is inviting feedback from consumers, businesses, and other stakeholders about the issues and topics the ACCC can provide guidance on to assist them understand how the amended misuse of market power prohibition, and the prohibition on anti-competitive concerted practices are likely to operate and how we’ll approach those provisions,” Mr Sims said.

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