The new legislation has now commenced. As of 6 November 2017, third line forcing will no longer be a per se prohibition and will only breach the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act) if the restriction is likely to substantially lessen competition.
What does this mean?
From 6 November 2017, businesses do not need to lodge a third line forcing notification with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) unless the proposed conduct has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition.
Therefore, most arrangements which were previously notified to the ACCC, will no longer need to be notified. Any notifications which have previously been lodged with the ACCC will continue to be valid.
Notwithstanding the change in the prohibition, clients should continue to consider whether their conduct will contravene under other provisions of the Act, including the Australian Consumer Law.