The ACCC has issued draft objection notices in response to two notifications lodged by the Australian Wagering Council Limited (AWC) and the betting agencies it represents.

The AWC lodged two notifications seeking immunity for:

  • collective bargaining with the National Rugby League Limited (NRL) to acquire rights to provide online betting services on NRL events; and
  • members entering into agreements with the AWC that they will not negotiate with, or acquire goods or services from, the NRL unless it is via the AWC.

The ACCC did not consider there to be sufficient public benefit from the proposed conduct, including because the proposed conduct would be likely to facilitate information exchange beyond what is necessary to improve the efficiency of contracting with the NRL.  The ACCC also found that the arrangements could facilitate coordination between the betting companies, which could have a negative impact on competition.