On 9 September 2011, the ACCC issued a draft notice in which it proposed to revoke a competition law exemption for Football Queensland. Pursuant to the exemption, granted by the ACCC on 28 April 2008, Football Queensland could require its members to only acquire apparel and equipment from licensed suppliers. The ACCC stated that Football Queensland’s program had reduced competition in the supply of football apparel in Queensland, increased administrative and supplier costs and likely increased prices for apparel and equipment. They recognised that such licensing programs can benefit sporting clubs and participants, however, they were not satisfied that the benefits outweighed the detrimental effects of the program. The ACCC is now seeking comment on its draft notice and additional information on the impact of the program.
On 12 September 2011, the CEO of Football Queensland, Mr Geoff Foster stated there was no evidence within the draft notice to support the ACCC’s conclusion that the licensing program had reduced competition, increased administrative and supplier costs and likely resulted in higher prices for apparel and equipment. Finally, Mr Foster highlighted that the Football Queensland was a non-profit organisation in which all income from the licensing program is applied for the benefit of the football clubs and players. Further consultation is now under way.