On 16 April 2014, the ACCC granted authorisation to the RG Tanna Coal Export Terminal Producers for 16 years to collectively negotiate with the appointed port authority, Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) in relation to the coal handling and port services agreements at Gladstone Port, in Queensland.

The ACCC accepted that collective negotiations would reduce transaction costs as a result of reduced time spent negotiating and in experts’ fees, and would improve efficiencies by the RG Tanna Coal Export Terminal Producers pooling their resources and achieving more uniform agreements.

The ACCC considered it unlikely that the proposed conduct would result in anti-competitive, public detriments, due to the voluntary nature of the proposed conduct, the absence of any collective boycott activity and that GPC was supportive of the proposed arrangement.