On 29 November 2013, in his keynote address to the RBB Economics Conference in Sydney, ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, focussed on three topics:
- the Government’s “root and branch” review will look at both improvements and impediments to competition law and that improving incentives, particularly by removing impediments to competition, will boost productivity and consumer welfare;
- in performing its overall role to address market failure and promote consumer welfare, the ACCC has three inter-linked roles concerning competition law, consumer law and utility regulation. In dismissing proposals to split the ACCC, Mr Sims noted it was more efficient for the three roles to be performed by a single authority; and
- the application of economic concepts to Part IV cases should be carried out with caution, given some economists put forward overly complex economic arguments, while others place unwarranted reliance on econometric techniques.