Transparency is Not Just Good for Those Regulated, It Also Strengthens Enforcers—An ACCC Perspective

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Marcus Bezzi, Nicholas Heys, Jul 15, 2015

Now 40 years old, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission—with its various predecessors—is one of the mature competition agencies. It has established a strong reputation for effectiveness and independence. It has gained this position because it has become well known as a strong advocate for consumers and competition. It is known as a tenacious and pro-active competition and consumer enforcer that usually succeeds in its enforcement actions. It is also perceived as willing to use all its powers to achieve appropriate outcomes for consumers and promote fair competition. It has a reputation for handling merger decisions well and granting authorizations in an appropriate manner. Over the years it has delivered effectively within its significant regulatory responsibilities in communications, infrastructure, fuel, energy (through the Australian Energy Regulator), and rural water.

This article seeks to describe some of the steps that the ACCC takes to make its processes fair and transparent within the broader system and highlight the benefits that flow for both the broader community and the ACCC from it being more transparent.

Now 40 years old, through its various predecessors the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is regarded as one of the mature competition agencies. It has established a strong reputation for effectiveness and independence. It has gained this position because it has become well known as a strong advocate for consumers and competition. It is known as a tenacious and pro-active competition and consumer enforcer that usually succeeds in its enforcement actions. It is also perceived as willing to use all its powers to achieve appropriate outcomes for consumers and promote fair competition. It has a reputation for handling merger decisions well and granting authorizations in an appropriate manner. Over the years it has delivered effectively within its significant regulatory responsibilities in communications, infrastructure, fuel, energy (through the Australian Energy Regulator), and rural water.

This article seeks to describe some of the steps that the ACCC takes to make its processes fair and transparent within the broader system and highlight the benefits that flow for both the broader community and the ACCC from it being more transparent.

 

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