Competition Law Reading Room
Creeping regulation: An assessment of the prposal for a 'creeping acquisitions' prohibition
Luke Woodward and Romany Webb
(2009) 17 Competition and Consumer Law Journal 141
'This article analyses the recent debate surrounding the introduction of a creeping acquisitions prohibition in Australia. It explores a range of issues, including: (a) the definition of 'creeping acquisitions'; (b) the government's proposals for dealing with 'creeping acquisitions'; (c) whether a 'creeping acquisitions' law is needed in Australia; and (d) the pros and cons of the government's various proposals.'
'The genesis of the 'creeping acquisitions' proposal lays in the food and grocery retail sector. However, in that sector, the ACCC has itself recognised that 'creeping acquisitions' have not resulted in a substantial lessening of competition. The article argues that the case for 'creeping acquisitions' law has not been made out. The article concludes that the real risk of such a law is that it may undermine the consistency of Australia's merger clearance regime'.'