The Competition and Consumer (Misuse of Market Power) Act 2017 (Act) was assented to on 23 August 2017.
The Act principally amends section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA) to include in the prohibition against misuse of market power a consideration of the effect or likely effect on competition of the conduct. It also removes provisions in relation to telecommunications-specific anti-competitive conduct and the competition notices and exemption order regime.
The Act will commence at the same time as the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Bill 2017 (Bill) commences, but the Bill is still before the House of Representatives.
For further details on both the Act and the Bill, see G+T Insight dated 12 April 2017.
Treasury has also released the exposure draft of the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Regulations 2017. The Regulations will make consequential amendments to the Competition and Consumer Regulations 2010 following the amendments to the CCA that will be made by the Bills referred to above. Submissions on the exposure draft were due by 22 August 2017.
In early August, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha was fined $25 million for its involvement in criminal cartel conduct in connection with the transportation of vehicles, including cars, trucks, and buses, to Australia over a three year period. The fine is the second-highest imposed for cartel conduct in Australia, and the first successful prosecution under the criminal cartel provisions of the CCA.
Finally, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims has also recently addressed the Law Council of Australia’s Competition and Consumer Workshop to shed some light on the ACCC’s current focus on cartel investigations and a new approach to information gathering in merger analysis.