Articles on competition policy

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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.
It’s personal: why shouldn’t consumers reclaim the rich data trail they create? Image sourced from

Why it’s time for companies to give us back our data

The competition review could help shed light on whether Australian companies are willing to share the data they hold on us as consumers.
The competition policy review is just another difficult conversation for the Abbott government. Gary Schafer/AAP

Government writing reform cheques it’s unlikely to cash

Big reforms in taxation and competition policy are on the table for the Abbott government, but has it spent too much political capital to get any of them across the line?
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…
The Harper competition policy review recommendations include changing the way misuse of market power can be prosecuted. Image sourced from

Explainer: what is the competition ‘effects test’?

The "effects test" aims to boost prosecutions for misuse of market power. But will it really make it easier for the ACCC to win cases?
Unlike America, Australia is overbanked. Nicholas Eckhart/Flickr

Murray inquiry not made for a future with fewer banks

A key component of the Financial System Inquiry handed to Treasurer Joe Hockey this week was that “the financial system should be subject and responsive to market forces, including competition”. But on…
Reforming prime ministers don’t always have the luxury of choice. Julian Smith/AAP

Whitlam made the case for reform: an enduring economic legacy

“Men make history,” Karl Marx wrote in 1859 in his Critique of Political Economy, “but not always in circumstances of their own choosing”. Whitlam himself would have chosen a different year to be his time…
The draft report of the Competition Policy Review elevates consumer choice above all other considerations.

Harper review would reduce us from citizens to mere consumers

Are we consumers or are we citizens? Clearly most of us are both. In a capitalist economy people get much of what they need through competitive markets. Yet we also live within a society and have reasonable…
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…
The Competition Review is small business minister Bruce Billson’s baby; but the focus is now far wider. AAP/Daniel Munoz

An ambitious agenda for Harper’s competition review

At last, the government’s Competition Policy Review’s terms of reference have been released, and the panel, with Ian Harper as chair, announced. The minister for small business, Bruce Billson – charged…
The Federal Government’s flagged a review of competition laws, the first in two decades. It will need to look at how duopoly grocery retailers push regulators to limit competition. AAP/Dean Lewins

Groceries, power & fuel: crunch time for competition review

The Government’s push to reform competition laws will continue next year with a review focusing on the key groceries, utilities and automotive fuel sectors. These are the sectors that most regularly affect…
Our fruit industry is struggling against cheap imports - but should we be doing more to protect our “food bowl to Asia”? AAP

Are we allowing our fruit industry to wither?

The sight of Victorian fruit farmers bulldozing surplus trees due to the loss of supply contracts is a dramatic way to illustrate the quandary facing both Australian industry and growers. In April Victorian…

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