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Competition Law Reading Room

The public benefits of private litigation

Alexandra Merrett and Rhonda L Smith
(July 2014) 19 The State of Competition



"Access to justiceā€ rates as one of the top five issues raised in submissions to the Harper Review into Australian competition policy. But a review of litigation over the last decade shows much more is at stake: ACCC competition cases focus almost exclusively on per se prohibitions. While private litigants appear more prepared to pursue provisions subject to a competition test, they are an endangered species. In the US, private actions outnumber their public counterparts 10:1 - here, we have 3 public actions for every private one. Yet the importance of private litigation is acknowledged around the world. How then can we increase its incidence?"