The Commonwealth Government announced in December 2013 that it will undertake a fundamental review of Australian competition policy. This review is colloquially known as the ‘root and branch’ review (“Review“). The Review will involve the most comprehensive consideration of Australia’s competition and regulatory framework in 20 years.
The Review provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for stakeholders to express their views on the future of Australian market regulation. We recommend that those entities more affected by competition regulation give serious thought to making a submission.
This commentary provides an overview of the intended scope of the Review and identifies key issues that may be considered. We have kept this commentary succinct. We are happy to discuss any issues in greater detail.
The remainder of this commentary covers the following issues:
- The political context to the Review
- The ‘extraordinary’ breadth of the Review
- The Review panel and proposed timing
- The likely appetite for further deregulation
- Regulatory agency reforms may focus on the NCC
- Competition law reforms may involve a welcome ‘trim’
- Improved outcomes for small businesses
- Some industry sectors are under particular scrutiny
- Media comments regarding privatisation are overstated