ACCC priorities and approach to mergers and acquisitions in concentrated markets

Speaking at the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce WA, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims indicated that mergers and acquisitions in concentrated markets will be subject to close scrutiny. He provided business leaders with an overview of the ACCC's approach to assessing mergers and acquisitions including the steps the ACCC is taking to streamline the merger review process.  Separately, Mr Sims also spoke about ACCC priorities in competition matters and under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

‘The ACCC at work: consumers, competition & regulatory issues’

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims addressed the John Curtin School of Public Policy at Curtin University and discussed the importance of ensuring that consumer requirements were incorporated into regulatory structures, citing port access undertakings within the wheat export framework as an example of successful regulatory structures.  Sims spoke about regulatory arrangements and incentive challenges for the NBN and argued for important changes to the electricity sector.

‘Opportunities and challenges with infrastructure reforms’

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims gave a speech  at the IPART conference in Sydney, outlining opportunities and challenges in the immediate infrastructure reform agenda across a range of areas including water, electricity, communications and transport.  He highlighted the significant changes in the infrastructure landscape in Australia during the past 25 years and spoke about the role of Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and the pending Productivity Commission review.  Sims said getting the right regulatory access oversight in place is a key challenge to increasing the competitiveness of industries, for example, mining.

ACCC cartels film ‘The Marker’

The ACCC released a short film, The Marker, as part of their “integrated strategy to prevent cartel involvement”, and sent it to 300 CEOs from Australia’s largest companies.

Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association Annual Conference

During his keynote address, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims addressed issues in the petrol industry such as market power and unconscionable conduct.  Sims also gave a brief update on the ACCC's approach to mergers in the grocery, liquor and home improvement sectors, and signalled the ACCC's response to supermarket and capacity issues raised by the recent Master Grocers Australia report.

7th Seoul International Competition Forum, hosted by the Korea Fair Trade Commission

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims noted  that less than a third of the world’s competition agencies have a consumer protection role, and advocated the benefits for both consumers and the economy that come from integrating competition and consumer regulatory functions in a single agency.  The key benefits he noted from the ACCC’s approach and structure include the experienced enforcement culture which stems from having a single set of investigative tools.