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The 2008 ACCC Merger Guidelines: How and Why Have They Changed?

Stephen P King
[2009] UNSWLawJl 16; (2009) 32(1) University of New South Wales Law Journal 263


From Introduction to article

'In November 2008, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (‘ACCC’) released its updated Merger Guidelines 2008 (‘2008 Guidelines’). The release followed an extensive period of consultation with both Australian and international antitrust experts.

The 2008 Guidelines provide merging firms, their advisors and other interested parties with an insight into the way the ACCC analyses the legality of mergers under the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (‘TPA’). Section 50 of the TPA makes unlawful any merger or acquisition that has the effect, or is likely to have the effect, of substantially lessening competition in a market.

The 2008 Guidelines significantly differ from the ACCC’s earlier Merger Guidelines 1999 (‘1999 Guidelines’). This paper discusses three of these differences, and looks at the underlying rationale for the changes.

In particular, this paper analyses the way in which the Guidelines deal with market concentration, the role of market definition in merger analysis, and the analytical approach adopted by the ACCC.'



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