Fixing section 46 a triumph for sound policy
The Government’s decision to strengthen protections against anti-competitive conduct is a demonstration of good public policy, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said today.
Patricia Forsythe, Spokesperson for the Australian Chamber said: “The Government has consulted extensively on this issue. The decision to accept the recommendations of the independent Harper competition policy review is supported by consumer groups, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and a wide coalition of business interests.
“Competition policy is always controversial, but fixing section 46 will promote merit-based competition. Competition policy should not be viewed as a battle between big business and small business.
“Removing the ‘take advantage’ element and focusing section 46 on whether the conduct of a business has the effect of lessening competition will bring Australian law into line with international best practice.
“The United States, Europe and most other jurisdictions use similar general tests, with no evidence of a chilling effect on competition or significantly higher legal costs.
“Australia already has an effects test for the telecommunications industry, and Vodafone, a major player in the industry, has publicly stated that the effects test works well and should be expanded to other industries.”