Statement in Response to Proposed Amendments to the Trade Practices Act

The BCA today warned that the introduction into the Senate of new predatory pricing amendments to trade practices laws ran the risk of significant impacts on business competition and for consumers.

“The introduction of these changes to the Bill at this late stage risk undermining legitimate and ordinary competitive business behaviour,” BCA President Michael Chaney said.

“These new amendments proposed by Senator Barnaby Joyce potentially change the whole operation of competition laws.

“The changes, if passed by the Senate, would introduce new concepts that have the potential to capture ordinary business behaviour beyond those actions of companies with market power.

“If the result of these amendments means Australian companies are potentially restricted in introducing new and innovative products at low cost to attract new customers, or match the prices of overseas entrants, it will have major impacts on competition and these impacts will disadvantage consumers.

“This is economic and competition policy made without proper analysis. It is disappointing these new amendments have been introduced at such a late stage and without proper review and consultation.”