The Business Council of Australia has made a submission to the Competition Policy Review.
The submission recognises the important role of competition policy in promoting the long-term interests of consumers and a healthy society. It also argues that getting competition policies right and administering them well are critical to high-performing Australian businesses and a high-performing Australian economy.
In the submission, we recommend the competition review panel reinvigorate Australia’s competition policy settings to take account of a world in which markets are increasingly global and technology is changing our economy and empowering consumer choices. This will require:
- A competition policy framework that reflects a global mindset, recognises the new competitive landscape in which Australian businesses are operating, and the impact of technology on consumer choice and access to markets, and amends the Competition and Consumer Act accordingly.
- Broader pro-competitive reforms that make regulatory design and approvals processes more efficient, extend competition into public sector markets and improve government service provision in the long-term interests of consumers.
- Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of competition law in some areas, including improving the formal merger process, amending or repealing provisions covering predatory pricing, price signalling and some per se prohibitions; and making the national access regime more efficient.
- Improving the focus and scope of Australia's regulatory institutions by considering a separate national pricing and access regulator and introducing clearer accountabilities for regulators.
- Establishing new institutions to drive the ongoing reduction of regulatory barriers to competition across the federation.
As Australia transitions beyond the commodity price boom, the competition policy review provides an opportunity for structural reforms to lift productivity and grow living standards in a competitive global economy.
The BCA Submission to the Competition Policy Review comprises a Summary Report and a Main Report.