My competition law publications
Julie Clarke, International Merger Policy: Applying Domestic Law to International Markets, Edward Elgar Publishing (April 2014)
Clarke, Corones and Clarke, Competition Law and Policy: Cases and Materials (3rd edn, OUP, July 2011)
The International Regulation of Transnational Mergers (PhD Thesis, Qld UT, 2010)
Abstract: Transnational mergers are mergers involving firms operating in more than one jurisdiction, or which occur in one jurisdiction but have an impact on competition in another. Being of this nature, they have the potential to raise competition law concerns in more than one jurisdiction. When they do, the transaction costs of the merger to the firms involved, and the competition law authorities, are likely to increase significantly and, even where the merger is allowed to proceed, delays are likely to occur in reaping the benefits of the merger. Ultimately, these costs are borne by consumers. This thesis will identify the nature and source of regulatory costs associated with transnational merger review and identify and evaluate possible mechanisms by which these costs might be reduced. It will conclude that there is no single panacea for transnational merger regulation, but that a multi-faceted approach, including the adoption of common filing forms, agreement on filing and review deadlines and continuing efforts toward increasing international cooperation in merger enforcement, is needed to reduce regulatory costs and more successfully improve the welfare outcomes to which merger regulation is directed.
|Barbora Jedličková, Julie Clarke and Sitesh Bhojani, 'Australia' in Bruce Kilpatrick, Pierre Kobel and Pranvera Këllezi (eds) Compatibility of Transactional Resolutions of Antitrust Proceedings with Due Process and Fundamental Rights & Online Exhaustion of IP Rights, LIDC Contributions on Antitrust Law, Intellectual Property and Unfair Competition, Springer Publishing (2016) pp 43-76
Publisher blurb: 'This book provides and unparalleled comparative analysis of two "hot topics" in the field of antitrust and unfair competition laws with regard to a number of key countries. The first part of the book examines the consistency and compatibility of transactional resolutions of antitrust proceedings (such as settlement procedures, leniency programmes and commitments) with due process and the fundamental rights of the parties. This is a particularly important topic, given the widespread adoption of these procedures by anti-trust authorities worldwide. The individual chapters consider how the leniency, settlement and commitments procedures have developed across a range of jurisdictions, and discuss the extent to which checks and balances have been applied in those national procedures in order to safeguard the fundamental rights of the parties involved. A detailed international report identifies general trends and highlights the differences between and most interesting features of national regulations.'
Julie Clarke, 'Current Issues in Merger Law' in John Duns, Brendan Sweeney and Arlen Duke (eds) Comparative Competition Law, Research Handbooks in Comparative Law, Edward Elgar (November 2015) (Hardback 978 1 84980 419 6)
Barbora Jedličková and Julie Clarke, 'Australia' in Pierre Kobel, Pranvera Këllezi and Bruce Kilpatrick (eds) Antitrust in the Groceries Sector & Liability Issues in Relation to Corporate Social Responsibility, LIDC Contributions on Antitrust Law, Intellectual Property and Unfair Competition, Springer Publishing (2015)
Julie Clarke, ‘The increasing criminalization of economic law – a competition law perspective’ (2011) 19(1) Journal of Financial Crime 76-98
The purpose of this paper is to examine the trend towards the criminalization of hard core cartel conduct and to consider the appropriateness and effectiveness of extending the criminal law to this conduct. In addition, it will consider some of the legal implications, including the exposure of directors of companies to potential racketeering charges.
Julie Clarke, 'Running a Cartel? Go Directly to Jail' (May 2010) Law Institute Journal 52
Overview of Australia's new criminal cartel laws.
Julie Clarke, 'Australia's Radical Predatory Pricing Reforms: What business must know' (2009) 1(2) Competition Law Reports 86-92 (India)
Critical look at the 2007 Birdsville Amendments (with 2009 updates)
Julie Clarke, 'Australia's Radical Predatory Pricing Reforms: What business must know' (2008) 1 Deakin Business Review 6
Critical look at the 2007 Birdsville Amendments
Julie Clarke, ‘Multi-jurisdictional merger review procedures: a better way’ (2006) 14 Trade Practices Law Journal 90-109
Corporate mergers whose effects transcend national borders have faced increasing regulation over the past few decades as more jurisdictions have developed merger laws and imposed pre-merger notification requirements. The level of regulatory response to multi-jurisdictional mergers is likely to continue to increase as even more jurisdictions contemplate the introduction of competition laws. This level of regulation now goes beyond that required to protect national economies from potentially harmful mergers and has seen burgeoning costs to business, regulators and, ultimately, the public. In recognition of this, the relatively newly formed International Competition Network has placed merger regulation at the forefront of its agenda for greater harmonisation and cooperation in competition law. This has seen, over the past three years, the development of a set of guiding principles and recommended practices for merger notification procedures designed to reduce the regulatory burden. This article evaluates these recommendations and discusses areas for further reform.
Julie Clarke, Criminal Penalties for Contraventions of Part IV of the Trade Practices Act (2005) 10 Deakin Law Review 141
In 2003 the Dawson Committee, commissioned by the Government, recommended that criminal penalties should be introduced for cartel conduct. The Government accepted this recommendation in principle and set up a working party to consider the implementation difficulties that had been identified in the Dawson Report. Nothing further was heard from the Government until February 2005 when the Government announced that it would introduce criminal penalties for serious cartel conduct. This paper evaluates the Government proposals and makes suggestions for their implementation.
Julie Clarke, 'The Dawson Report and Merger Regulation' (2003) 8(2) Deakin Law Review 245
The Dawson Report, released by the federal Government in April, recommended significant change to merger regulation in Australia. While retaining the substantial lessening of competition test, the Report calls for change to the merger clearance and authorisation processes. The recommendations have received the support of the Government and big business, but have attracted criticism from the ACCC, small business and consumer groups. This paper will critically discuss the recommendations in light of the public submissions made to the Review.
Julie Clarke and Mirko Bagaric, 'The Desirability of Criminal Penalties for Breaches of Part IV of the Trade Practices Act' (2003) 31 Australian Business Law Review 192-209
Abstract: Following the introduction of criminal sanctions, including jail terms, for hard core cartelisation in the United Kingdom, the Dawson Review has recently recommended that criminal penalties be introduced in Australia for individuals and corporations found to have engaged in hard core cartels. A number of reasons have been advanced to justify the introduction of criminal sanctions for this type of conduct, the most common of which are that it would bring Australia in line with other competition regimes and that criminal sanctions are more likely to provide an effective deterrent. This article evaluates those reasons, and others, to determine whether there is any adequate justification for the proposed criminal regime.
Julie Brebner, ‘The Relevance of Import Competition to Merger Assessment in Australia’ (2002) 10(2) Competition and Consumer Law Journal 119-143
Abstract: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been criticised for failing to take due account of the impact import competition has on domestic firms when assessing whether or not a proposed merger will be likely to substantially lessen competition. This paper reviews the approach taken by the Commission to import competition in its merger assessments. Consideration is given to both the policy adopted by the Commission and the statistical relevance that has, in fact, been placed on import competition in merger assessment. A conclusion is then drawn as to the appropriateness of the Commission’s current policy and practice.
Julie Brebner, 'Resale Price Maintenance - The Need for Further Reform' (2001) 9 Trade Practices Law Journal 18
Abstract: The Competition Policy Reform Act 1995 (Cth) extended the resale price maintenance provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) to include services, and provide for authorisation where the conduct can be shown to benefit the public such that it should be allowed. This article explores the scope of these changes and their shortcomings. It also seeks to provide some guidance as to their likely application, and makes recommendations for further reform.
Other articles and notes
The Federal Court of Australia rules against submissions on agreed penalties (Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate / Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union), e-Competitions Bulletin June 2015, Art. N° 73596
On 1 May 2015 the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia ruled that it was not permissible for parties to make joint submissions as to the appropriate ‘pecuniary penalty’ to be imposed: Director, Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union  FCAFC 59 (1 May 2015) (CFMEU). This decision has significant implications for the existing common practice of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and respondents to make agreed joint submissions as to appropriate pecuniary penalties in competition law cases.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grants first resale price maintenance authorisation to a power tools manufacturer (Tooltechnics), 5 December 2014, e-Competitions Bulletin March 2015, Art. N° 72020
On 5 December 2014 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) granted its first authorisation in relation to resale price maintenance (RPM). RPM is per se prohibited in Australia. Although an authorisation (exemption) mechanism for RPM, determined on public benefits grounds, has been available in Australia since 1995, this application was the first to be made to the ACCC.
The Australian Federal Court recently handed down a decision relating to the international air cargo cartel (the Air NZ case). Despite finding that the defendants, Air New Zealand Limited (Air NZ) and PT Garuda Indonesia Ltd (Garuda), had engaged in price fixing conduct which might have affected prices in Australia, Justice Perram held that there was no contravention of Australian competition law because the conduct did not take place in a ‘market in Australia’.
Australian Competition Tribunal grants first
direct merger authorisation (Macquarie
Generation, AGL Energy) (18 September 2014, e-Competitions (N° 68908, www.concurrences.com))
On 25 June 2014 the Australian Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) handed down its first direct authorisation decision, approving the AU$1.505 billion acquisition by AGL Energy Limited of the assets of Macquarie Generation (MacGen), a state-owned corporation (AGL-MacGen). The authorisation decision followed advice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ( ACCC) that it would oppose the proposed deal. The Tribunal disagreed with the ACCC’s assessment of the likely anti-competitive impact of the merger and also considered that there were public benefits associated with the proposal that justified allowing it to proceed. On 3 Sept 2014 AGL announced it completed the $1,505 million acquisition of MacGen assets from the NSW Government. (view on e-Concurrences)
Philip Clarke and Julie Clarke, ‘Resale Price: Australian Experience and Perspectives’ (CPI Antitrust Chronicle, October 2013)
The prohibition of RPM occupies a special position in Australian competition law. It was the first anticompetitive practice to be specifically outlawed when Australian competition law commenced in earnest in the 1970s, is a per se offense, has been expanded in scope rather than curtailed, and, unlike most other jurisdictions, is not inhibited by the requirement that there be an agreement to fix a resale price. As result, it is a powerful prohibition that applies to unilateral conduct designed to achieve RPM as well as RPM agreements between suppliers and retailers.
Julie Clarke, 'The Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission releases new authorisation
guidelines' (12 September 2013, e-Competitions)
In June 2013 the ACCC released new Authorisation Guidelines . These replace the 2007 Guide to Authorisation (as updated by a 2011 addendum) and reflect the current approach taken by the ACCC to authorising otherwise anti-competitive conduct.
Julie Clarke, 'The Federal Court of Australia hands down its first decision involving a bid rigging case after the entry into force of new cartel laws (Norcast v Braken)' (6 May 2013, e-Competitions) (download PDF document)
In July 2009 Australia’s new cartel laws entered into force. On 19 March 2013 the Federal Court of Australia (Gordon J) handed down its first decision involving these new laws.
Julie Clarke, 'The Australian Competition Tribunal ‘undeclares' third party access for rail lines company applying ‘private profitability' test to 44H(4)(b) (The Pilbara Infrastructure Pty)' (8 February 2013, e-Competitions, N°51089, www.concurrences.com)
On 8 February 2013 the Australian Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) handed down its decision in Applications by Robe River Mining Co Pty Ltd and Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd. This brought to an end a long running legal dispute over third party access to Rio Tinto’s rail lines in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Julie Clarke, 'Fortune Telling: Australian Competition Law in 2013' (CPI Antitrust Chronical, 15 January 2013)
"Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Predicting the path of Australian competition law in 2013 may be more difficult still. It is an election year in Australia and, if history is any guide, this will generate some populist political promises, frequently at odds with sound competition policy. Political debate is likely to focus on the need, or otherwise, for a major review of Australia's competition laws and see philippics over who's policies are most likely to support small business, or curtail the market power allegedly enjoyed by big supermarkets, banks, and petrol companies. ...
The Challenge of International Merger Regulation, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London (27 Feb 2013)
The seminar discussed the current approach to regulating transnational mergers in a competition law context. A merger is considered transnational if it has the potential to impact upon competition in more than one jurisdiction. The proliferation of pre-merger review systems over the past two decades has prompted several proposals for supranational solutions, ranging from proposals for an international law and adjudicative body to more modest proposals for soft harmonization. Although there has been an increase in the level of ‘soft’ harmonization, largely attributable to the work of the International Competition Network, significant differences remain and compliance costs continue to rise as more jurisdictions adopt pre-merger notification regimes. The seminar identifed key points of convergence and divergence between national merger regimes and whether or not it is possible or desirable to further streamline the current multi-national merger review process to improve economic and social outcomes.
International and comparative merger law; is there a need for greater convergence?', UQ Law Research Seminar Series, 7 September 2012, Brisbane
The seminar discussed the current system of regulating multi-jurisdictional mergers. A merger may be "multi-jurisdictional" because the parties are located in more than one jurisdiction, or because it has the potential to impact upon competition in more than one jurisdiction. The proliferation of competition laws and the significant increase in the number of countries now imposing pre-merger notification obligations has prompted several proposals for multi-jurisdictional merger reform, ranging from proposals for an international law and adjudicative body to more modest proposals for soft harmonisation. To some degree, the International Competition Network has, over the last decade, facilitated greater 'soft harmonisation' in the national approach to merger regulation, but inefficiencies still remain. The seminar discussed whether or not it is possible or desirable to further streamline the current multinational merger review process to improve economic and social outcomes. Podcast available.
The increasing criminalization of economic law – a competition law perspective, Workshop paper presented at 28th International Symposium on Economic Crime 2010, Jesus College, University of Cambridge, 9 September 2010
Abstract: There is a clear trend towards the criminalization of ‘hard core’ antitrust cartels. Countries that have recently criminalised anti-competitive behaviour include United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and Russia. Important questions arise regarding the appropriateness and effectiveness of extending the criminal law to this conduct. This workshop will consider whether or not cartel conduct should be treated as criminal. Standard justifications will be considered, including moral blameworthiness, the proportionality principle and general deterrence. In addition, it will consider some of the legal implications, for instance, the exposure of directors of companies to potential racketeering charges. The definition of ‘organized crime’ in the Palermo Convention will be considered as well as potential money laundering and asset forfeiture consequences.
Trade Practices Update, 30 October 2009
This CLE seminar was part of a Deakin University/Geelong Law Association CLE program and was designed to update local practitioners on recent changes to competition and consumer laws
Trade Practices Update, Deakin University Faculty of Business and Law, Business Breakfast, Geelong, 15 October 2008
This seminar was designed for small business people in the Geelong area and highlighted key issues in competition and consumer law relevant for small business.
Conference Paper: "Australian Merger Law Set For Change", Australasian Law Teachers' Association Annual Conference 2003, Novotel Hotel, Brisbane, 7 July 2003
Abstract: The way in which mergers are evaluated in Australia is set to undergo significant change in the coming year. The Review of the Competition Law Provisions of the Trade Practices Act (the Dawson Review) was released by the Government in April.1 While recommending the retention of the current substantial lessening of competition test, the Dawson Committee made a number of recommendations for change regarding the procedures to be applied in assessing potential mergers. These recommendations have received the support of the federal Government. This paper will critically discuss the recommendations of the Committee in light of the submissions made to the Review and will also consider the possible amendments to the TPA that may flow.
Julie Clarke and Barbora Jedličková, ‘The pharmaceutical industry and competition law: Australia’, Report for the Geneva Congress 2016 (International League of Competition Law)
Question: In the case of pharmaceuticals, in what way should the application of the competition rules be affected by the specific characteristics of those products and markets (including consumer protection rules, the need to promote innovation, the need to protect public budgets, and other public interest considerations)?
Barbora Jedličková, Julie Clarke and Sitesh Bhojani, ‘The consistency and compatibility of transactional resolutions of antitrust proceedings with the due process and fundamental rights of the parties in Australia’, Report for the Torino Congress 2014 (International League of Competition Law)
The Australian competition-law regime is primarily governed by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA) and is based on both private and public enforcement. However, Australian competition law is primarily enforced and regulated publicly, by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The ACCC has investigative and information-gathering powers under Part XID of the CCA. It resolves matters either by administratively encouraging consultation or negotiation to settle disputes, or via litigation. Nevertheless, only the court has the power to declare whether particular conduct contravenes the CCA and make findings of liability. The ACCC is empowered to institute proceedings in the court for the declaration of an infringement of the CCA and for the recovery of a pecuniary penalty on behalf of the Commonwealth. The ACCC may also apply for injunctions, damages and a range of orders. ...
Barbora Jedličková and Julie Clarke, ‘The Grocery Retail Market: Is Antitrust Efficiently Handling This Market? Australian Perspective’, Report to for the Kiev Congress 2013
The Australian grocery retail market is concentrated with the major supermarket chains holding significant bargaining power. Bargaining power, particularly in the form of buyer power, has been the focus of concern in Australia in relation to the retail grocery market. Existing merger laws can assist, to a degree, in curtailing further concentration in this sector, but do not address existing power imbalances. The role of Australia’s abuse of power provisions in addressing some of the concerns associated with supermarket buyer power is regularly debated in Australia, but to date abuse of power provisions have not been a significant feature of competition law enforcement with respect to the supermarket industry. A proposed new code of conduct may address several issues such as delisting of suppliers, lower payments and other unilateral changes to concluded supply agreements. These issues arise from imbalances in the negotiation of supply between the major retailers and their suppliers.
Julie Clarke, Comments on Blog Symposium - Criminalising Cartels: Critical Studies of an International Regulatory Movement, Antitrust and Competition Policy Blog, 17 May 2011.
Julie Clarke, 'Book Review: Australian Cartel Regulation: Law, Policy and Practice in an International Context by Caron Beaton-Wells and Brent Fisse, Cambridge University Press, 2011, 685 pages, ISBN 978 0 521 76089 8, $189.00 (hardback)' (2011) 18(3) Competition and Consumer Law Journal 299
Submissions prepared on behalf of other organisations
Institute of Public Accountants, Submission to the Treasury on Options to stengthen the misuse of market power law, February 2016 (prepared as part of the IPA Deakin University SME Research Partnership)
Submission relating to the Trade Practices Amendment (Cartel Conduct and Other Measures) Bill 2008 (Exposure Draft Bill - see Treasury web site) 29 February 2008
Julie Brebner, Submission to the Trade Practices Act Review (Dawson Committee), July 2002 (link to TPA Review site)
Submission on merger regime
ABC, PM, 'Farmers urge Government to stay the course on competition law reform'
Interviwe with Clint Jasper, 6 September 2016
The World Today with Peter Cave, Radio Interview with Ashley Hall, Monday 29 June 2009 at 12.52pm (ACCC action against Cabcharge – pre-recorded)
'Review Misses Bill's Key Points', Australian Financial Review, Tuesday 21 April 2009, p 63
Suppresion of bank payments festers for eBay, The Sheet (article by Jason Bryce, 8 July 2008)
Australia the Testing Ground for eBay, The Sheet (article by Jason Bryce, 20 May 2008)
eBay's PayPal plan sparks user revolt, Courier Mail (article by Jason Bryce, 18 May 2008)
Media release, Radical predatory pricing reforms pose risk to discounters,19 September 2007
Media release, Trade practices reforms short change small business, 2 July 2007
For details of all my publications, including those unrelated to competition law and policy, see my personal web site.