Articles on ACCC

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Despite the dominance of Coles and Woolworths, consumers are still choosing to buy their fresh food at local fruit and vegetable shops and farmers’ markets. Sarah Joy/Flickr

All out of fresh ideas: how supermarket giants send mixed messages about food

Coles and Woolworths' representation of "fresh" and "local" food reflects heightened interest among consumers about these values. But they also contributes to concerns about the supply chain.
The Nationals – of whom Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is deputy leader – have been agitated at the strong power of Coles and Woolworths to beat down prices of suppliers. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Government to beef up ACCC to assist farmers

Farmers will get some extra help in the battle against the supermarket chains in the government's long-awaited White Paper on Agricultural Competitiveness released on Saturday.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims is among those advocating a so-called ‘effects test’ to determine whether market power has been misused. Alan Porritt/AAP

Competition debate must move beyond effects test battle

Both big and small business have much at stake in competition policy reform, but they need to move on from simplistic arguments about misuse of market power.
Economist Ian Harper has delivered the final report in the most comprehensive review of competition law and policy in more than 20 years. Mark Graham/AAP

Harper makes case for competition overhaul: experts react

The removal of restrictions on retail trading hours, pharmacies and parallel imports, and a controversial “effects test” on existing misuse of market power rules are among the many recommendations contained…
Coles has admitted it acted unconscionably towards suppliers, and a new code of conduct may not be enough to clean up the industry. Julian Smith/AAP

Too big to care: will Coles and Woolies lift their game in 2015?

Coles and Woolworths spent much of 2014 defending their behaviour in court. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) brought several actions against one or both of them throughout the…
ACCC Chair Rod Sims could soon see some of the regulator’s powers taken away. Alan Porritt/AAP

Why handing NBN oversight to a new regulator is a recipe for failure

Both the Harper competition policy review, and the more recent Vertigan NBN market and regulatory review have widespread implications for economic regulation. The reports are different in scope and their…
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is revisiting well-trodden telecommunications competition issues. Gary Schafer/AAP

Turnbull leaves door open to break up NBN Co

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has not ruled out a proposal by the expert panel reviewing the telecommunications…
When big business misuses its market power, proving it can prove a challenge. Riccardo Cuppini/Flickr

Big business, market power and why we need more test cases

In advocating greater competition, less regulation and reduced red tape, the Harper Committee’s 300 page draft review of competition policy largely colours between the lines of its extremely broad terms…
Some price signalling can help consumers. Aaron Amat/Shutterstock

Why it’s time to scrap price signalling laws

Among the 52 recommendations contained in the draft report on Competition Policy from economist Ian Harper, is a suggestion price signalling laws established in 2011 be repealed. These laws currently make…
Professor Ian Harper, chair of the competition review, has surprised some with the review panel’s recommendations. Julian Smith/AAP

Harper competition review seeks widespread change: experts react

Restrictions on retail trading hours, taxis, pharmacies and parallel imports should be lifted according to a far-reaching draft report by the Competition Policy Review. Professor Ian Harper’s new report…
Australia’s corporate regulator wants to tackle what it believes is collusion in the petrol industry, but court action to date hasn’t really succeeded. AAP/Lukas Coch

Fixing the fixers of petrol prices is no easy task

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s latest foray into the difficult and politically charged arena of petrol pricing is just the latest in a long running saga that is unlikely to be resolved…
Medicines Australia code of conduct for pharmaceutical companies has attracted a large number of negative submissions. hobvias sudoneighm/Flickr

Pharmaceutical industry code of conduct fails to find favour

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is considering whether to approve the latest Medicines Australia code of conduct for pharmaceutical companies. The code lays out disclosure requirements…
With more private sector involvement in aged care, health and education, competitive neutrality will become more important than ever. Julian Smith/AAP

Government Inc: time to revisit competitive neutrality

A month after receiving the first round of submissions, the Harper review of competition policy is knuckling down to work. With around 300 submissions received to date, the range of issues raised is diverse…
The corporate regulator has gone after Coles for unconscionable conduct against smaller suppliers. AAP/Paul Miller

ACCC signals strategic change in battle with supermarkets

The corporate regulator’s ongoing battle with the major supermarket chains took an interesting twist on Monday when it alleged that Coles had engaged in unconscionable conduct against various small suppliers…
Companies that use drip pricing to lure customers in are being watched closely by the ACCC. theloushe/Flickr

The ACCC wants to take the drip out of pricing

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims has put drip pricing in online markets on the regulator’s hit list for the year ahead, warning there would “shortly be enforcement in this area”. It’s a welcome and overdue move…

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