Release of Australian Government response to the Competition Policy Review The Government's Response to the Competition Policy Review was released on 24 November 2015. This was a response to the Competition Policy Review Final Report (the "Harper Review") that was released on 31 March 2015 by an independent expert panel. The Harper Review was the first comprehensive review of Australia's competition framework in more than 20 years, and made 56 recommendations across the three key themes of competition policy, laws and institutions. In its Response, the Government indicated that it would implement the majority of the Harper Review's recommendations. However, as the Response noted, many of the recommendations fall within areas of state and territory responsibility (e.g., the recommendation to remove restrictions on retail trading hours) and so must be implemented by the state and territory governments themselves. Thirty nine of the recommendations were supported in full or in principle, 5 supported in part, and the Government remains open to the remaining 12 recommendations subject to further consultation. A particularly contentious recommendation related to the definition of misuse of market power in s 46 of the existing Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). Whilst the Government's Response "noted" the Harper Review's concerns about this provision "inadvertently capturing pro-competitive conduct", the Government did not accept the recommendation to reframe the prohibition on the misuse of market power. Instead, the Government indicated that, due to the "importance of this issue to business and consumers", further consultation will be called for on the issue, and a discussion paper will soon be released. Whilst no legislative changes have yet been drafted, the Federal and State and Territory governments have commenced discussions on the reform opportunities recommended by the Harper Review. Further consultation with the states and territories on reform implementation are expected to take place in the new year. For more information, please contact Anne-Marie Allgrove, Toby Patten, Matthew Dempsey or Emma Burn.