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ANRA Criticises Proposed Competition Reforms

ANRA Criticises Proposed Competition ReformsThe Competition Policy Review has been set up to examine Australia’s competition laws and policy, with the draft report, released last month, recommending changes to Section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, governing the misuse of market power.

ANRA CEO Anna McPhee stated any change to competition law “should be directed towards protecting the competitive process rather than individual competitors”.

McPhee added that proposals contained in the report are “an example of lawyers drafting reforms with no insight into the reality of business decision making”.

“The report found little or no evidence has been presented to demonstrate that the existing provision in Section 46 is deficient in some way and there is not a strong case for new regulation,” McPhee stated.

“The report also stated the proposed reform would require organisations to demonstrate a causal connection between its market power and its conduct.

“This would require companies to exhibit near perfect foresight on the effect of competition when considering opening a new enterprise in a particular jurisdiction.”

The independent paper, commissioned by ANRA, has been presented to the Competition Policy Review panel, the Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims and parliamentary secretary to the prime minister Josh Frydenberg.