Guidelines for Authorisation of Conduct (non merger)
The submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on the proposed ‘Guidelines for Authorisation of Conduct (non merger)’ (Draft Guidelines) was prepared by the Competition and Consumer Committee of the Business Law Section.
The Draft Guidelines are also intended to be complemented by the document that was issued in draft by the ACCC, ‘Application for authorisation for proposed conduct (other than mergers or acquisitions), Guidance in completing your application to the ACCC’ (Draft Guidance Document). Having reviewed the Draft Guidelines and Draft Guidance Document, the Committee makes the following observations and suggestions for the ACCC's consideration:
1. The Committee believes that both documents are useful and is appreciative of the ACCC undertaking this form of work for the assistance of the business and legal community.
2. As the underlying authorisation processes in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA) are largely unchanged, the Committee's commentary on the two documents is limited and reasonably high level.
3. The Committee notes at paragraph 1.8 of the Draft Guidelines the ACCC proposes that if authorisation is sought:
... for proposed conduct that may breach both the per se provisions and other competition provisions of the Act, the ACCC will apply the test for authorisation applicable to per se conduct to its assessment of the entire application for authorisation. That is, the ACCC may grant authorisation only if it is satisfied that the likely public benefit from the conduct outweighs the likely public detriment.
You can read the full submission below.