The BCA is strongly opposed to the Trade Practices Amendment (Material Lessening of Competition – Richmond Amendment) Bill 2009. We consider that the amendments to the existing merger control regime contained in the TPA are not warranted because:
- No economic case has been demonstrated to justify such amendments.
- The proposals have the potential to impose a significant impost on business and to have detrimental consequences for the Australian economy as a whole.
- There is no net benefit to the community from amending the competition laws in the manner proposed.
Australia already has a well-established and internationally recognised mergers regime.
A key contributor to the continued success of the Australian economy is its effective competition laws. These laws should support vigorous competition as a means of driving productivity.
They should also support efficient markets and lower prices for consumers.
But productivity growth also requires incentives for businesses to restructure, invest and grow.
We are concerned that the Bill significantly undermines those objectives.