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Competition Policy Review (Harper Review)

For the latest news and information on the Harper Review visit my review page or the official Competition Policy Review website. The panel's draft report was released on 22 September 2014.

 

Latest Competition Law News and Commentary

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27 January 2015 - NBN - Variation of Telstra's Migration Plan

The Government has finalised two regulatory instruments supporting the variation of Telstra's migration plan. They can be found here. This allows Telstra to lodge its revised Migration Plan with the ACCC. See ACCC 'Telstra's migration plan' website. See also Richard Chirgwin, 'Government's rushed NBN migration plan off to the ACCC: Consultation? We've heard of it' (27 January 2015)), Josh Taylor, 'Turnbull ticks Telstra-NBN HFC migration plan' (ZDNet, 27 January 2015) and Baker & McKenzie, 'Telecommunications Regulatory Update - December 2014'.

23 January 2015 - More Harper submissions published

Some more Harper Review submissions have been published on the Review website. These include submissions from the Queensland and Tasmanian Governments and the Office of the Australian Small Business Commissioner. See also my submissions page (summaries still in progress).

16 January 2015 - Durie: ACCC to review Macquarie, Fairfax radio merger

John Durie has a pice in the Austrlaian today about the ACCC's review of the Macquarie, Fairfax merger. See John Durie, 'ACCC to review Macquarie, Fairfax radio merger' (The Australian, 16 January 2015). See ACCC merger register.

16 January 2015 - In Competition: ACCC hot hits for 2015

King & Wood Mallesons' Blog, In Competition, has kicked of the year with a post by Annabel Deans which analyses 'recent trends to assess any similarities in enforcement priorities between regulators in the UK and Australia.' See Annabel Deans and Taylor MacDonald, '2015 Hot Hits for the ACCC and CMA' (In Competition, 16 January 2015)

15 January 2015 - ACCC Petrol Price Reports

The ACCC will produce at least eight petrol price reports in 2015 following a direction by Minister Bruce Billson. These will include quarterly macro reports and at least four market studies reports. See ACCC, 'ACCC's new petrol price reports' (ACCC media release, 15 January 2015). See also Lisa Visentin, 'Allegations of petrol price gouging in rural areas prompts ACCC scrutiny' (SMH, 15 January 2015)

14 January 2014 - Woodside deal to be assessed by ACCC

The ACCC will review Woodside's multi-billion dollar deal to buy Apache Corporation's interests in the Wheatstone, Balnaves and Kitimat projects. The ACCC commenced its review on 24 December. Market inquiry letters were sent on 12 January with submissions due 2 Feb 2015. The provisional date for an ACCC announcement is 5 March 2015. See merger register. See also Angela Macdonald-Smith, 'Woodside deal under ACCC scrutiny' (SMH Business Day, 14 January 2015)

13 January 2014 - Expedia PCA released

The ACCC has released their public competition assessment relating to Expedia's acquisition of Wotif. The 16 page assessment can be viewed here.

22 December 2014 - Coles' unconscionable conduct

The Federal Court has found Coles engaged in unconscionable conduct and ordered Coles to pay $10 million penalties. See ACCC press release.

21 December 2014 - New State of Competition out now

The latest The State of Competitionis out now - the focus is SLC: "... rather than our usual 'year in review', this year we’re finishing up with a reflective piece on just what the substantial lessening of competition test involves. As the slogan says, it’s time for less opinion, more expertise." As always, a must read - especially if you want to find out why John Glenn was 'contemplating competition law while in space'.

19 December 2014 - More Harper submissions available

The fourth batch of Harper Review submissions on the draft report have been published on the Competition Policy Review website.

17 December 2014 - ACCC appeals Air Cargo decision

The ACCC has announced it will appeal the Air Cargo cartel decision; the case failed at first instance because the Court found there was no relevant 'markt in Australia'. See press release. For the judgment see: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Air New Zealand Limited [2014] FCA 1157. See also 'ACCC appeals court’s dismissal of cartel case against Air NZ, Garuda; (Business Spectator, 17 December 2014) and my note on this case.

15 December 2014 - ACCC and Coles seek consent orders

The ACCC and Coles have made joint submissions to the Federal Court seeking consent orders from the Court. See ACCC press release. See also Sue Mitchell and Madeleine Heffernan, 'Coles to refund suppliers as it settles cases with ACCC ' (The Age, 15 December 2014)

5 December 2014 - More Harper Submissions published

The third batch of submissions on the Harper Competition Review Draft Report have now been published on the Review website.

5 December 2014 - ACCC authorises RPM

The ACCC has granted conditional authorisation for Tooltechnic Systems (Aust) Pty Ltd to set minimum retail prices on Festool power tools until 31 December 2018. View press release. View authorisation register.

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Hot topics

Competition Policy Review (Harper)

Harper Review

Read moreThe first major review of competition policy in Australia in 20 years is underway with a draft report released on 22 September.

 

New cartel immunity and cooperation policy

Handshake image

Read moreOn 10 Sept 2014 the ACCC released a new Immunity and Cooperation Policy for Cartel Conduct.

ACCC takes on Informed Sources

Image of petrol pump

Read moreThe ACCC has instituted proceedings against Informed Sources and several petrol retailers alleging contravention of s 45.

 

Misuse of market power

Image of market power

Read moreAlways topical, the issue of misuse of market power is set to feature prominently in the Harper Review.

First Tribunal merger authorisation

Merger authorisation

Read moreIn June the Australian Competition Tribunal granted its first direct merger authorisation to AGL.

 

TPA celebrates 40 years

TPA cover

Read moreOn 1 October 2014 the Trade Practices Act 1974 (now named the Competition and Consumer Act 2010) celebrated 40 years.

 

Images copyright: Images in the Hot Topic section of this page sourced from FreeDigitalPhotos.net. They include carts courtesy of Salvatore Vuono; male runner on starting blocks courtesy of stockimages; power transmission tower and gas pump filling nozzles courtesy of Rawich; handshaking courtesy of Photokanok; business man and stock graph report courtesy of watcharakun. Cricket bat image from Open Clipart.