The Role of the ACCC.doc - 12345 1999 Defence Industry...

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12345 1999 Defence & Industry Study Course The Role of the ACCC 19 April 1999 Hank Spier General Manager Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
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Today I have been invited to speak about competition law and the role of the ACCC in the Australian economy. By way of introduction, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is a statutory authority responsible for ensuring compliance with Parts IV, IVA, V and VA of the Trade Practices Act, for administering the Prices Surveillance Act and complimentary legislation. The ACCC is the only nationally operating agency dealing generally with competition matters. In fair trading and consumer protection its role complements that of State and Territory consumer affairs agencies, which administer the mirror legislation of their jurisdictions. The ACCC also has responsibilities under: Broadcasting Services Act 1992 Telecommunications Act 1991 Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989 The ACCC comprises a Chairperson, a Deputy Chairperson, and a number of full- time Commissioners and part-time Associate Commissioners. - 2 -
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TRADE PRACTICES ACT 1974 The objectives of the Trade Practices Act are to prevent anti-competitive conduct, thereby encouraging competition and efficiency in business, and resulting in a greater choice for consumers (and business when they are purchaser) in price, quality and service; and to safeguard the position of consumers in their dealings with producers and sellers and business in its dealings with other business. Essentially the Act is divided into the following major parts: · Part IIIA which deals with access to essential facilities; · Part IV which deals with anti-competitive practices; Part V which deals with unfair trading practices; Part IVA which deals with unconscionable conduct relating to consumer transactions; Part IVB which deals with unconscionable conduct relating to business transactions and mandatory industry codes of conduct; Part VA which deals with the liability for defective goods; Part X which deals with international liner cargo shipping; Part XIB which deals with anti-competitive conduct in the telecommunications industry; and Part XIC which sets up a telecommunications access regime. - 3 -
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ACCESS TO ESSENTIAL FACILITIES The introduction of Part IIIA has been designed to pursue two main objectives. The primary objective is an economic one. It aims to improve economic efficiency by introducing competitive forces into certain essential facilities which have been monopolised by one, or a very small number of owners in circumstances where access is required for persons to enable them to compete in upstream or downstream markets. To be successful this will generally require regulation or other incentives to guard against monopoly pricing, artificial constraints on capacity and anti-competitive behaviour.
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