Australia: ACCC calls for expanded powers

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has called for strengthened competition rules to better fight anticompetitive behavior in its submission to the Harper Review of competition policy, reports say.

The ACCC’s advocacy for stronger laws to back its enforcement of antitrust rules follows a recent submission to the review by Vodafone, which argued the ACCC does not have sufficient power to enforce competition policy within the telecommunications industry.

It seems the ACCC could partially agree, as the regulator is now calling for amendments to provisions regarding cartels, price-signaling, market dominance abuse and other aspects of federal competition law. According to reports, the ACCC said revamped rules should offer small businesses collective bargaining and boycotting rights.

In its submission, the ACCC has also asked for consideration that the regulator be given the power to conduct market studies to examine possible anticompetitive practices in certain industries. This idea also parallel’s Vodafone’s critique of the current competition regime, which argued that ACCC’s inability to enforce telco competition rules could partially be due to the regulator’s inability to review the wireless market specifically.

Full content: The Australian

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