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Competition Law Reading Room

The ACCC: Roots and branches – proposals to enhance ACCC effectiveness

Caron Beaton-Wells
(2014) 42(6) Australian Business Law Review 436



he Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is a crucial body in Australia's economic landscape. It has wide-ranging responsibilities, principally concerned with enforcing the laws in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) – laws that affect almost every aspect of commercial activity in this country – and has extraordinary powers, backed up significant sanctions, to ensure that businesses and individuals comply with their legal obligations. The effectiveness of the ACCC in performing its functions is a matter being considered by the Competition Policy Review, a review described as a root and branch inquiry into Australian competition policy, law and enforcement. This article makes two proposals, aimed at deepening the ACCC's roots (through ex post review and evaluation of its enforcement activity) and connecting its branches (through a consolidated program of market studies). If adopted, these proposals would strengthen the ACCC's standing and capacity as an institution that is central to enhancing the welfare of Australians and our economy