Competition Law

Australian Competition Law and Policy Discussion

Archive for May, 2013

ACCC releases quarterly report

Posted by Julie Clarke on 21 May 2013

The ACCC has released its March 2013 quarterly report and associated press release. In relation to competition enforcement the following points are notable:

  • There are eight carry over cases and one new case alleging misuse of market power
    • The new case is the Visa case, initiated in Sydney on 4 Feb (case NSD164/2013), alleging Visa ‘misused its market power for the purposes of preventing the expansion of DCC to new merchant outlets in Australia and preventing businesses in Australia from supplying DCC services on ATMs in competition with Visa’s own currency conversion service’). The next directions hearing is listed for 27 June 2013 before Justice Jacobson.  The respondents are represented by Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney.
    • There eight ongoing cases involve seven cases of cartel conduct and/or price fixing and one involving misuse of market pwoer (the Cement Australia; commenced 12 September 2008 and still awaiting decision despite being heard before Justice Greenwood nearly two years ago).
  • The ACCC secured one s 87B undertaking for alleged anti-competitive behavior by All Homes Pty Ltd.
  • 65 mergers considered this quarter (51 pre-assessed as not requiring review; of the remaining matters 12 were cleared unconditionally, one was cleared on a confidential basis and in the remaining case the ACCC ‘formed the view that it could nto make a decision without conducting public inquiries’). The report summarises the more significant merger reviews.
  • Eight draft authorisation decisions, 12 final authorisation determinations and 6 interim decisions, the most significant being the Qantas/Emirates authorisation.
  • Ninety-six exclusive dealing notifications were received and 78 were allowed to stand (the report sets out the more significant notifications).
  • One collective bargaining notification – by the Manning Valley dairy farmers
    • These were lodged on 25 March so a decision was not made in the quarter; however, on 18 April the notifications were allowed to stand.
  • Continuing investigations include
    • price information sharing between fuel companies
    • shopper docket schemes
    • supermarket conduct (including allegations of MMP) and
    • online competition issues.
  • The revised Compliance and Enforcement Policy was also released in February.

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