ACCC releases new Compliance and Enforcement Policy
Posted by Julie Clarke on 21 February 2013
The ACCC’s new Compliance and Enforcement Policy was released today, outlining ‘the ACCC’s priority areas for the year and sets out the factors to be taken into account when deciding whether to pursue matters.’ The document itself runs to 5 pages (including a cover page). View press release. View Sims’ speech, launching the new policy, at a CEDA function in Sydney. There is nothing much new on the competition law front, other than Sims’ repeated promise that we can expect ‘an increase its rate of intervention in competition matters’ by the ACCC. Reference to prioritising concentrated sectors, particularly supermarkets and fuel also came as no surprise.
In his speech Sims spoke a bit about mergers (there is not a single reference to mergers in the Policy document itself). He noted that ‘ACCC has responded to calls by the trade practices and business community for increased transparency and engagement with the ACCC during the course of merger reviews’, but also noted that the ‘increased level of transparency and engagement must, however, slow the process down’ (it has been widely observed tha the process has slowed since the Metcash decision; see, for example, ‘Howzat! The War on Mergers‘ from the crew at State of Competition). In his speech he went on to say that the ACCC is revising its Informal Merger Process Guidelines and will be consulting with stakeholders on a revised draft in the coming months.