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Harper competition reforms now passed ?>

Harper competition reforms now passed

Last week Parliament passed the most significant reforms to Australia’s competition laws in more than two decades. The legislation The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review ) Bill 2017 (CPR Bill) includes the majority of reforms recommended in the 2015 Harper Report. The related Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Act 2017 (MMP Act), became law on 23 August this year.  As the name suggests, it contains the reforms to the misuse of market power provisions. However, commencement of those…

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Senate Committee gives green light to effects test ?>

Senate Committee gives green light to effects test

The Senate Economics Committee today recommended passage of the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Bill 2016 which will introduce the Harper Recommendations (frequently abbreviated as the ‘effects test’). I’ve previously posted about the content and merit of the bill and won’t repeat myself here, instead focusing on what the Committee majority and the dissenting Labor Senators, as well as Nick Xenophon (who sort of agrees but wants more to be done) had to say about it. Briefly the…

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Harper Exposure Draft Legislation Released ?>

Harper Exposure Draft Legislation Released

The Government today released Exposure Draft legislation (Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Bill 2016) designed to implement many of the recommendations made as part of the Competition Policy Review (Harper Review) 2014-2015. Consultation – be quick! Interested parties have relatively little time to respond to the draft legislation (which runs to and is accompanied by a 90 page explanatory memorandum), with submissions due by 30 September 2016.  In addition to Treasury’s review of the draft legislation, the ACCC today commenced two consultations on…

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Revival of effects test debate ?>

Revival of effects test debate

The effects test for misuse of market power (recommended in the Harper Report and accepted by the Government in March this year) has had a bit of a run in the media over the last week. This was prompted the release of the Productivity Commission’s draft report on the regulation of agriculture last Thursday, which suggested the effects test would do nothing to shield farmers from competition in the retail grocery market and that, even if it did, this would…

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Competition reform post-election ?>

Competition reform post-election

Now that we finally have an election outcome (even if Herbert does still remain in doubt), it’s worth considering what this means for the proposed Harper reforms. We know that the Turnbull Government, in September last year, accepted most of the recommendations made in the Harper Report.  Following a further consultation, the Government announced (in March 2016) it would also adopt the controversial ‘effects test’ recommended by the Harper Panel in relation to misuse of market power.  We also know that Labor opposes the effects…

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