Competition, Consumer &

The Harper Review

The Australian Parliament passes the Harper Reforms, implementing the most significant changes to Australia's competition laws in more than 20 years.

In October 2017, the Australian Parliament passed the Competition Policy Review Bill, which implements many of the Harper Review's recommendations on competition law and policy. The changes to the prohibition on misuse of market power were contained in a separate instrument, the Misuse of Market Power Bill, which passed Parliament in August 2017. The new laws are expected to come into effect in the next few weeks.

Please feel free to contact a member of our Competition, Consumer & Regulatory team to discuss the new laws in more detail and how they will apply to your organisation.

Visit our Harper Review website

Allens' Competition, Consumer & Regulatory team are the advisers of choice in Australia.

Our team offers an unrivalled level of experience, expertise and commonsense in dealing with the full spectrum of competition and consumer law issues, including:

  • mergers and acquisitions;
  • joint ventures;
  • anti-competitive conduct allegations;
  • ACCC investigations and immunity applications;
  • access undertakings and arrangements;
  • ACCC enforcement and third-party litigation;
  • marketing and advertising reviews;
  • unfair contract terms and unconscionable conduct;
  • ACCC market inquiries and studies; and
  • compliance programs.

We offer corporate and government clients the full range of services, from advice on competition and consumer law and submissions to the ACCC on mergers; to defending litigation and developing compliance programs. We have acted in many of Australia's major cartel investigations, prosecutions and class actions, high-profile mergers, access disputes and consumer protection proceedings. We conduct litigation and represent clients before the ACCC, the Australian Competition Tribunal, the National Competition Council and the Federal Court. We also assist clients to structure their growth and acquisition plans to minimise competition law issues.

We have an extensive knowledge of the regulators' operations and procedures, and a strong working relationship, built up over years of dealings and interactions. We have a reputation for resolving novel and complex regulatory issues with the ACCC. Our Partners edit the Australian Journal of Competition, Consumer & Regulatory, and are members of the Competition and Consumer Committee of the Law Council of Australia.

Industry specialists

Our Competition, Consumer & Regulatory group is involved in many significant transactions across all industry sectors, including agribusiness, banks and financial institutions, broadcasting, ecommerce, energy, entertainment, food and beverage, funds, hospitals and healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, media, mining and natural resources, music, pharmaceuticals, private equity, retail, technology, telecoms and transport.

Our lawyers are actively involved in developing competition policy, ensuring that clients can deal effectively with the impact of deregulation and legislative changes.

Top ranked expertise

The Competition, Consumer & Regulatory team at Allens tops the rankings in all leading legal directories and industry guides.

The 2019 edition of Chambers Asia-Pacific ranks Allens as top tier (band one) for competition law in Australia. Chambers notes the consistent praise 'for the practical nature of its advice, with clients commending its "strong knowledge of the regulatory environment and ability to distil complex concepts into simple business language", and "Allens are fabulous at distilling things into digestible formats that clients want. They are the gold star in understanding what clients want". A client also commented "We love working with Allens; the team is really approachable and down-to-earth."'

Global Competition Review's GCR100 2018 also ranks Allens as a top tier 'elite' competition law practice, noting that 'the team at Allens remains one of a select few practices universally deemed to be at the top of the Australian competition bar'.

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2018 ranks Allens as a top tier (band one) practice for competition and trade law in Australia, and states the practice is singled out for its ‘consistently excellent service' and ‘customer interaction and commercial understanding of issues’.