Allens

Competition Law

Our experienced Competition Law legal team regularly publishes articles and updates - the full list of publications appears below. We profile some key cases and review recent findings of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC). If you'd like to be notified when we add new competition law publications to the site, please go to our subscription page to sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.

Allens has wide-ranging competition experience through its involvement in several landmark matters. Read about our impressive track record in competition law.

The Harper Review

Professor Ian Harper’s review of competition policy is the most significant review of Australia's competition laws and policy in more than 20 years.

In September 2016, the Federal Government released its much anticipated exposure draft. The proposed legislation is the next step in the Government's response to the Harper Review of competition law and policy. You can download our analysis of the key provisions.

Please feel free to contact a member of our competition and consumer law team to discuss the Government's response in more detail and how it applies to your organisation.

Visit our Harper Review website

Competition Law Publications

  • In touch: Competition news

    8 March 2017

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business.

    Read More
  • Client Update: ACCC's Enforcement and Compliance priorities for 2017

    27 February 2017

    Criminal cartels, unfair contract terms, consumer guarantees and the health, construction and agriculture sectors are some of the ACCC's key enforcement and compliance priorities for 2017. ACCC Chairman Rod Sims released the ACCC's 2017 Compliance and Enforcement Policy on Friday, 24 February 2017.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Senate Committee supports proposal to broaden the misuse of market power prohibition

    17 February 2017

    The Senate Economics Legislation Committee has published its report supporting the Government's proposed reforms to broaden the misuse of market power prohibition, but recommended that the mandatory factors be removed. It is expected that the Government will now seek to expeditiously progress the Bill through Parliament.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition news

    1 February 2017

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business.

    Read More
  • Report: Allens' response to ACL Review Interim Report

    20 January 2017

    Allens' submission in response to the Australian Consumer Law Review Interim Report. Although the Australian Consumer Law is generally functioning well, Allens considers that a number of provisions require amendment and clarification to ensure that the ACL meets its objectives.

    Read More
  • Focus: Take care with agency arrangements - Flight Centre decision

    14 December 2016

    The High Court today handed down its decision in the high-profile ACCC proceedings against Flight Centre. The High Court allowed the ACCC's appeal from the Full Federal Court, finding that Flight Centre competed with airlines in the sale of international airline tickets and attempted to induce three major airlines to enter price-fixing arrangements. Partner Carolyn Oddie, Managing Associate Robert Walker and Lawyer Darcy McLennan consider the implications.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Amending the misuse of market power prohibition

    1 December 2016

    On 1 December 2016 the Federal Government introduced a Bill to Parliament to amend section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), which prohibits the misuse of market power. The Bill adopts the recommendations of the Harper Review.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition news

    17 November 2016

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition news

    14 September 2016

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business.

    Read More
  • Client Update: LNG destination clauses under scrutiny by Japanese competition regulator

    7 September 2016

    Part of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's strategy for LNG market development, which aims to achieve stability in LNG supply and lower prices, is to 'abolish or relax' destination clauses with the view that this would lead to lower prices through increased reselling and arbitrage selling. Japan's Fair Trade Commission has since launched an investigation into whether destination clauses impede fair competition and contravene Japanese competition law. Certain types of destination restrictions have long been held to infringe EU competition law. Partner Ted Hill, Managing Associate Robert Walker and Associate Sophie Matthiesson consider the implications of this investigation in light of the approach taken in the EU.

    Read More
  • Paper: Government unveils proposed changes to competition laws

    5 September 2016

    The Federal Government today released its much anticipated exposure draft.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition news

    5 August 2016

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business.

    Read More
  • Focus: Extending the reach of Australia's cartel laws and the first criminal prosecution

    28 July 2016

    Recent decisions handed down in separate cartel proceedings confirm that Australian courts will take a broad approach to the extraterritorial ambit of Australia's competition laws. This means that more foreign businesses could be caught by Australia's criminal and civil cartel laws. These decisions coincide with the commencement of the first criminal cartel case in Australia. Partner Kon Stellios and Senior Associate Amanda Richman report on these developments and their implications.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition news

    19 July 2016

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business.

    Read More
  • Unravelled: Coming this spring: ACCC to monitor large merchants' payment surcharges

    2 June 2016

    The Reserve Bank has now released a Standard which sets out what payment surcharges will be permitted for the purposes of the new Part IVC of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). The aim of the Standard is to improve competition and efficiency by providing to consumers price signals associated with the actual cost of using certain payment methods, with the ACCC given the power to monitor and enforce compliance with new laws.

    Read More
  • Focus: Glencore's Newcastle success opens the channel for further access regulation

    1 June 2016

    Glencore has succeeded in its bid to have the access to the Newcastle shipping channel declared under Australia's national access regime. The Australian Competition Tribunal's decision reversed the acting Treasurer's decision and has settled (for now) the uncertainty about the interpretation of the critical 'promotion of competition' criterion for declaration. Partner John Hedge and Lawyer Jessica Rusten consider the implications of this decision for the future application of access regimes to other infrastructure facilities. 

    Read More
  • Focus: Car rental agreement crashes out under the unfair contract terms regime

    27 April 2016

    In proceedings brought by the ACCC, the Federal Court declared a number of terms in Europcar Australia’s 2013 standard rental agreement to be unfair, and therefore void. Partner John Hedge and Lawyer Jessica Rusten review the unfair contracts terms regime, and consider the implications of this latest decision for business contracts to which the regime will extend later this year.

    Read More
  • Client Update: ACCC inquiry into the east coast gas market - key findings and recommendations

    22 April 2016

    The final report of the ACCC inquiry into the east coast gas market was released today. The ACCC has made recommendations about removing government moratoria on gas developments, revising the test to determine when a pipeline should be regulated and increasing consistency and transparency in information provided to the market. Partner Ted Hill and Law Graduate Darcy McLennan report.

    Read More
  • Focus: The ACCC will be watching you pass on the bucks

    14 April 2016

    The ACCC has been given powers to monitor and enforce compliance with new laws prohibiting merchants from charging excessive payment surcharges. Partner Carolyn Oddie, Associate Theodore Souris and Lawyer Emma Gorrie report.

    Read More
  • Client Update: ACCC successfully appeals air cargo cartel - the widening of 'market in Australia'

    23 March 2016

    The ACCC has won an appeal in the Full Federal Court in the air cargo cartel case against Air New Zealand and Garuda. Those airlines were found to have engaged in price fixing conduct within a 'market in Australia' even though the point of competition was outside the country. The case clarifies and potentially expands the circumstances in which conduct engaged in overseas may be caught by Australia's competition laws. Partner John Hedge and Lawyer Jessica Rusten report.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Federal Government amends section 46

    16 March 2016

    The Federal Government today announced it will amend section 46, which prohibits the misuse of market power. In doing so, the Government will adopt the recommendation of the Harper Review.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition news

    1 March 2016

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business.

    Read More
  • Focus: Access regulation application sinks at the Newcastle shipping channel

    29 January 2016

    The acting Federal Treasurer has made a determination under Australia's national access regime to not declare access to the Newcastle shipping channel. The decision is a reminder of the limits of the national access regime in challenging the pricing of infrastructure owners. Partner John Hedge and Lawyer Jessica Rusten consider the implications for the future application of the national access regime to other infrastructure facilities in light of this decision.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition news

    21 December 2015

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Significant High Court decision on settlement of regulatory proceedings

    9 December 2015

    The High Court today held that parties and regulators are permitted to put before the court an agreed position as to the value of a penalty reached as part of a settlement agreement. Our Regulatory team reports.

    Read More
  • Food Law Bulletin

    8 December 2015

    In this edition we look at the Federal Government’s proposed Country of Origin Labelling that may be rolled out next year; the impact on food producers of the broader reach for the health claims standard; how ACCC proceedings and a new enforcement guide will give producers and consumers a clearer understanding of what is meant by eggs labelled 'free range'; and a decision of the Western Australian Supreme Court of Appeal that examined whether a farmer of genetically modified crops owed a duty of care to prevent contamination of his organic neighbour’s land.

    Read More
  • Focus: Plugging the price drip

    30 November 2015

    The Federal Court has found that Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd and Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd contravened the Australian Consumer Law by engaging in 'drip pricing'. In doing so, the Federal Court differentiated between the types of conduct that will be considered misleading or deceptive under the ACL. Partner Jacqueline Downes, Associate Lisa Lucak and Lawyer Jessica Rusten look at the implications for business.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition news

    17 November 2015

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business. It's been a busy period at the ACCC and we have summarised the most important developments. Of particular note, the extension of unfair contract terms to small business will commence on 12 November 2016.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition news

    29 October 2015

    Welcome to In Touch - the Allens Competition Team's regular round-up of developments in competition law and what it means for your business.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition news

    7 October 2015

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business.

    Read More
  • Focus: Agency arrangements alright - ANZ and Flight Centre succeed in appeals

    31 July 2015

    The Full Federal Court today handed down its decisions in two high-profile appeals in relation to ANZ and Flight Centre. Both cases dealt with the issue of distribution arrangements and price fixing. Partner Carolyn Oddie and Associate Theodore Souris look at the implications for business.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    17 April 2015

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    26 March 2015

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    25 February 2015

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    12 February 2015

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    18 December 2014

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    30 October 2014

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • Linklaters Insights: UK Corporate Update: Competition & Markets Authority publishes final order on mandatory tendering of audit contracts

    29 October 2014

    The Competition & Markets Authority has published a final order to require FTSE 350 companies to put their audit contracts out to tender every 10 years and to give more powers to audit committees in relation to auditor appointments. The order takes effect on 1 January 2015 and applies to financial years commencing on or after 1 January 2015.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    14 October 2014

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Competition Policy 'Root and Branch' review draft report released

    22 September 2014

    The panel tasked with the 'root and branch' review of competition law and policy has released its draft report. Some of the recommendations are far reaching and may have significant ramifications on competition law enforcement in Australia, including in relation to misuse of market power. Partner Kon Stellios, Associate Lisa Lucak and Knowledge Management Lawyer Julie Playfair report.

    Read More
  • Food Law Bulletin

    5 September 2014

    we look at the ACCC's current enforcement activities on credence claims in food labelling; the development of a national information standard for the contentious area of 'free-range' eggs in light of the industry's failure to selfregulate; a Federal Court decision that provides some welcome clarification on the issue of certification trade marks; and an ACCC cartel proceeding that highlights the potential dangers of the relationship between producers and the industry bodies that represent them.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    1 September 2014

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    14 August 2014

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    28 July 2014

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    15 July 2014

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • Unravelled: ASIC's proposed competition objective

    8 July 2014

    In its submission to the Financial System Inquiry, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has proposed the addition of a statutory objective to enable ASIC to consider the impact of its decision making on competition when exercising its statutory powers and functions. This paper explores some of the potential implications if this proposal were to be accepted. It also considers ASIC's proposal within the broader context of the Harper review of competition policy currently underway, which may review ASIC's powers, functions and objects as part of its review of the institutional framework for competition regulation.

    Read More
  • Focus: Record penalties a reminder of product safety obligations

    3 July 2014

    Record US penalties recently imposed on car manufacturers for failures to deal appropriately with safety defects are a timely reminder to Australian manufacturers of their product safety obligations. Partner Belinda Thompson, Senior Associate Jaime McKenzie and Lawyer Ishwar Singh report.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    1 July 2014

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition law update

    17 June 2014

    In touch: Competition law update is a regular publication by the Allens Competition Law group to keep you informed of the latest news and developments in this area.

    Read More
  • Focus: Proposed mandatory access code for Australia's wheat export terminals

    6 June 2014

    The Federal Government has released a draft mandatory port access code of conduct that would apply to all Australian bulk wheat export port terminals. If implemented, the code would replace the existing regulatory framework and the access undertakings approved by the ACCC for terminals operated by the four vertically integrated operators from 30 September 2014 onwards. The draft is open for consultation, with submissions accepted until 24 June 2014. Partner Carolyn Oddie and Senior Associate John Hedge report on the proposed code and potential implications for owners and users of Australia's wheat export terminals.

    Read More