Exposure draft legislation was released today to amend the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 ( CCA ) in line with the majority of the recommendations of the Harper Review. The controversial proposed changes to section 46 of the CCA (misuse of market power) will be implemented according to the “Full Harper” formulation.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the Treasurer Scott Morrison and the Small Business Minister and Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer today announced that the Government would move to implement the Harper Review’s recommendation to replace the current section 46 provisions.
On 24 November 2015, the Commonwealth Government released its formal response to the Competition Policy Review chaired by Professor Ian Harper (Harper Review). The Harper Review released its Final Report on 31 March 2015, and the Government’s response had been expected by September or October but was interrupted by the leadership challenge which saw former Prime Minister Tony Abbott replaced by Malcolm Turnbull and the former Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson, who had instigated and championed the Harper Review, removed from the Ministry.
On 1 September 2015 it was reported that the ACCC had settled its case against Visa, the second in a pair of recent cases brought against international giants for misuse of market power under section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).
Since the High Court’s decision in Barbaro v The Queen, the Federal Court has increasingly scrutinised regulators and respondents attempting to resolve civil penalty proceedings by providing the Court with an agreed statement of facts that contains an agreed penalty figure or penalty range.