Competition Law Reading Room
The public benefits of private litigation
Alexandra Merrett and Rhonda L Smith
(July 2014) 19 The State of Competition
"Access to justice” rates as one of the top five issues raised in submissions to the Harper Review into Australian competition policy. But a review of litigation over the last decade shows much more is at stake: ACCC competition cases focus almost exclusively on per se prohibitions. While private litigants appear more prepared to pursue provisions subject to a competition test, they are an endangered species. In the US, private actions outnumber their public counterparts 10:1 - here, we have 3 public actions for every private one. Yet the importance of private litigation is acknowledged around the world. How then can we increase its incidence?"