Submission regarding Proposed Price Signalling Amendments to the Competition and Consumer Act

This submission relates to the price signalling legislation that is currently before the parliament. There are currently two Bills: one introduced by the government and another introduced by the Coalition.

The BCA’s position on this legislation has been that providing the ACCC with additional powers to deal with so called ‘price signalling’ would represent an unwarranted regulatory overreach with potentially adverse consequences for the rest of the economy. 

In this submission we raise concerns in relation to how the government legislation will work in practice.

We have recommended the inclusion of a further exception to the law so that actions which might be regarded as part of the ordinary course of business of the corporations undertaking them or legitimate commercial activities are not caught by the private disclosure prohibition.

We continue to be strongly opposed to the use of the regulation power and consider that the legislation must contain a review mechanism.

We have also raised a number of detailed concerns about how the provisions which allow parties to notify the ACCC of conduct which might breach the new laws will work in practice. The notification regime allows the conduct to take place unless the ACCC objects within a particular timeframe. Our concerns relate to practicality, timing and certainty issues. 

The first submission made by the BCA related to the price signalling provisions of the Competition and Consumer Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2011 can be obtained here.

Submission regarding Proposed Price Signalling Amendments to the Competition and Consumer Act