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Competition Law Reforms Mean Greater Economic Security

October 20, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

MGA welcomes the passing of the new competition laws that were recommended by the Harper Review in 2015. The final amendments to the legislation were passed by the Federal Parliament on the 18th October 2017, with the misuse of Market Power Bill being passed earlier, on 23rdAugust 2017. Jos de Bruin, CEO of Master Grocers Australia said today that, “The new laws cover many areas of competition reform, including issues such as cartels, price signaling, third line forcing and resale price maintenance. More particularly from MGA’s perspective is the greatly needed strengthening of the prohibition against the misuse of market power by big businesses.

Of important significance for independent supermarket retailers (family enterprises and private business) is the much awaited introduction of the “effects test” which will prevent those with a substantial degree of market power from exercising that power to lessen competition.”

“Achieving these significant legislative amendments was not an easy process. The ACCC recognised the need for change and they wholeheartedly supported the recommendations of the Harper Review. There were many sceptics who strongly advocated against the need for any changes to competition laws and they presented a strong opposition against reform”.

Mr. de Bruin continued, “Fortunately, the power brokers listened to the arguments that were presented in favour of new prohibitions on unfair practices, which were having severe damaging effects on the Australian economy. Finally, the Parliament recognised the importance of establishing a level playing field that would lead to a safer and more prosperous economy”

“On behalf of thousands of independent retailers MGA thanks the Coalition Government and all those who saw the importance of making these necessary amendments to the competition laws. These include Ministers such as Barnaby Joyce, Matthew Canavan, Michael McCormack, Kelly O’Dwyer, the former Federal Minster Bruce Billson and of course Rod Sims and all at the ACCC.

The new competition laws will ensure that a level playing field is available for businesses in the future regardless of their size.”

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