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Reasons out in Tabcorp ?>

Reasons out in Tabcorp

The reasons for judgment have been released in the Tabcorp/Tatts judicial review matter – sooner than expected. Of the ACCC’s three grounds of judicial review only the first succeeded; the Court held that the Tribunal erred in not assessing certain detriment alleged by the ACCC. The ACCC’s Grounds of Appeal The ACCC’s three grounds of appeal were that: that the Tribunal was wrong to reason that it could only conclude the acquisition would result in a detriment if it found there…

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Federal Court sends Tabcorp/Tatts deal back to the Tribunal ?>

Federal Court sends Tabcorp/Tatts deal back to the Tribunal

The Federal Court yesterday upheld the ACCC’s application for Judicial Review, setting aside the decision of the Australian Competition Tribunal on 22 June 2017 to authorise the proposed merger between Tabcorp at Tatts. The matter has now been referred back to the Tribunal. The reasons for decision have been embargoed from release (both to parties and the public) while solicitors for the parties determine whether it contains commercial in confidence material that requires redaction; the solicitors have no more than…

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ACCC to increase focus on evidence-gathering in merger cases ?>

ACCC to increase focus on evidence-gathering in merger cases

ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, yesterday delivered a speech at the annual Law Council of Australia’s Business Law Section Competition and Consumer Committee Workshop. He addressed three broad issues: the ACCC’s compliance and enforcement mix investment in the ACCC’s criminal cartel unit merger enforcement He also made two key announcements: that the ACCC is commencing a new review of its cartel immunity and cooperation policy in light of recent experience with criminal cartel investigations; and that the ACCC will be taking…

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First criminal cartel conviction: some initial thoughts ?>

First criminal cartel conviction: some initial thoughts

In brief Yesterday (3 August 2017) the Federal Court convicted and fined Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) for cartel conduct.  The fine is significant in that it represents the first time that a corporation has been convicted and fined under the criminal cartel laws, introduced in Australia in 2009. The cartel conduct the subject of the proceeding was said to have occurred since 1997 but, because Australia’s criminal cartel laws were only introduced in 2009, the charge related only to…

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ACCC appeals Tribunal’s Tabcorp/Tatts merger authorisation ?>

ACCC appeals Tribunal’s Tabcorp/Tatts merger authorisation

The ACCC has applied to the Federal Court for a judicial review of the Australian Competition Tribunal’s recent Tabcorp/Tatts merger authorisation decision. Background I outlined the Tribunal’s Tabcorp decision in an earlier blog (Tribunal Clears Tabcorp/Tatts Merger (ACL Blog, 30 June 2017)) and provided some more detailed information and case extracts on my my Tabcorp case page). Briefly the Tribunal has the power to authorise a proposed merger/acquisition (s 95AT) on public benefit grounds, provided satisfied that the ‘proposed acquisition would…

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High Court finds for ACCC in Flight Centre appeal ?>

High Court finds for ACCC in Flight Centre appeal

The High Court today handed down its decision in the Flight Centre appeal.  The five High Court judges produced four different sets of reasons.  The majority of four-one (Chief Justice French dissenting) concluded that the ACCC’s appeal ought to be allowed.  They reached this conclusion on substantially the same grounds. The ACCC argued that Flight Centre had attempted to induce Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Emirates not to discount the tickets they sold directly to customers, that Flight Centre was in competition with those…

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Banks denied interim authorisation for cartel conduct ?>

Banks denied interim authorisation for cartel conduct

In an earlier post I noted that that several Australian banks had applied to the ACCC for authorisation to collectively bargain ‘with providers of third-party mobile wallet services [including Apple] on conditions relating to competition, best practice standards, and efficiency and transparency.’ Authorisation and interim authorisation Authorisation may be granted for cartel conduct and other prohibited anti-competitive conduct on public benefit grounds.  Applications typically take up to six months, which allows the ACCC to undertake detailed market studies and full consideration of potential competitive detriment…

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