Richmond Amendment 2009
Senate Inquiry into Trade Practices Amendment (Material Lessening of Competition - Richmond Amendment) Bill 2009
Inquiry home page
(including public submissions)
Introduced 26 November 2009
The Bill proposes two key changes to Australia's merger laws:
1. Replacing 'substantial lessening of competition' with 'material lessening of competition'.
2. Providing that mergers by companies holding substantial market share should be prohibited whenever they 'lessen' competition (the 'creeping acquisitions' amendment)
The majority of the Committee recommended that the Senate reject the Bill, finding alteration of the merger test would generate uncertainty when there was no sound evidence suggesting a problem with the current bill. The Committee also rejected the proposal to set a percentage market share threshold for mergers involving firms with an existing substantial market share - the so-called 'creeping acquistion' provision - noting that such a change would be 'arbitrary and contentious'.