How the effects test could thwart the competition agenda

The line between pro-competitive conduct and misuse of market power can be blurry, but any change to provisions in the Act could be damaging for consumers and the economy.

It is already obvious that while the bulk of the Harper review of competition policy has been reasonably well received, the committee’s proposal to amend the "misuse of market power" provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act is generating real angst within business.

Despite the fact, as acknowledged by the committee, that 11 reviews of the section over nearly 40 years have all looked at and rejected the notion of an effects test, the committee has, in its draft report, proposed introducing one.

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