This paper comments on the results of the first ex post review of merger cases undertaken by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC”), which feeds into the ACCC’s call for reform to Australia’s merger control laws; and reviews some of the key elements of the ACCC’s proposed merger law reforms. The ACCC says that its proposed merger law reforms will bring Australia’s merger clearance regime and rules for digital platforms into alignment with international models.  However, those reforms will add more complexity and cost to clearance processes in Australia and potentially, if all of the ACCC’s changes were adopted, could lead to more deals being blocked.  There have been a number of mergers in recent years that were originally opposed by the ACCC but ultimately cleared by the Federal Court of Australia or the Australian Competition Tribunal.  Part of the ACCC’s petition for reform is that the current test is too high of a bar for the ACCC to effectively prevent anti-competitive deals in court proceedings.  An ex post review of these cases could test this argument.

By Kirsten Webb[1]

 

The ACCC says that its proposed merger law reforms will bring Australia’s merger clearance regime and rules for digital platforms into alignment with international models. However, those reforms will add more complexity and cost to clearance processes in Australia and potentially, if all of the ACCC&#

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