Major Reform to Australian Competition Laws

On 18 October 2017, the Commonwealth Senate passed the Competition & Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Bill 2017, implementing a number of amendments to Australia’s Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).  The changes follow recommendations arising from the ‘root and branch review’ of competition law and policy commenced by the Federal Government in 2015 (commonly known as the ‘Harper Review’).  This follows the passage of changes to the misuse of market power provisions of the CCA (also recommended by the Harper Review) made by the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Act 2017, which passed on 23 August 2017.

The two Acts implement what are arguably the most significant changes to Australian competition law in 20 years.  The commencement date for the changes has not yet been proclaimed but is likely to be early in 2018.

Our Comment: It is recommended that corporations and businesses seek general legal advice regarding the ambit of the legislation to get in front of the changes before they become law.

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