Submission on Proposed Changes to Section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act
13 January 2017
The Business Council's submission on the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Bill 2016 disagrees with the Turnbull government's proposal to introduce an "effects test".
The current law works as intended and is well understood, while the new law introduces considerable regulatory uncertainty, risks capturing pro-competitive behaviour and is misaligned with equivalent provisions in other countries.
Contrary to the government’s intentions, the new law will be costly and disruptive for business and risks harming innovation and price discounting, thereby working against the interests of consumers.
It will increase regulatory risk at a time of weak business investment and economic growth. If the provision is to proceed, it should be amended to send a clear signal to all businesses that competitive behaviour that is good for consumers will be unambiguously protected under Australian law.
The submission attaches an independent legal opinion prepared by Neil Young QC in June 2016.