An exposure draft of the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Bill 2016 has been released.
The Bill aims to implement reforms recommended by the Harper review in key areas including:
- amending the misuse of market power provision to implement an effects test;
- extending the definition of “competition” to include potential imports;
- limiting the application of the cartel conduct provisions;
- consolidating the authorisation provisions;
- amending access regime criteria;
- removing specific sections on price signalling and exclusionary provisions; and
- prohibiting concerted practices that substantially lessen competition.
In addition to submissions on the Bill itself, which are due at the end of this month, the ACCC has called for submissions on its draft framework in relation to two of the key elements, the amendments to the misuse of market power provisions and the prohibition of concerted practices.
Interestingly, “concerted practices” is not defined in the Bill. The ACCC has described the term as meaning “a form of coordination where competitors substitute cooperation with each other for the uncertainties of competition”.
Submissions to the ACCC are due on 3 October 2016.