201312.11

Government releases details for competition review

The utilities, groceries and the automotive fuel markets will be some of the sectors of the economy which will come under scrutiny when the Federal Government’s ‘root and branch’ review of competition law kicks off early next year.

The draft terms of reference released today have been framed to shine a light on the practices and structures in key market segments and whether the laws which seek to govern the behaviour of market participants are supporting the long-term interest of consumers and the country’s productivity and prosperity.

The system we are aiming for is one where competitive and efficient businesses – big and small – are able to flourish and prosper and engage in the commercial contest on merit and not on muscle.

It means the review will look at key markets in the economy, whether they are competitive and whether changes to the law are necessary to enhance consumer, producer, supplier and retailer opportunities in the relevant markets and across the supply chain.

The review will help identify microeconomic reforms and also look at the prescriptive nature of the law and whether it is fit for purpose now and into the future.

It is essential we get our competition settings right to not only allow businesses of all sizes to prosper but to drive innovation and productivity to support higher wage growth and increased living standards.

The ‘root and branch’ review is the first in 20 years and delivers on a key election commitment and will help identify ways to build the economy and promote investment, growth and job creation.

The Government looks forward to working with the review panel over the coming months, and we encourage all interested parties to participate through public hearings and submission processes.