Monday 24th June 2019

A guide to navigating Australian competition law and the ACCC

By Prudence Smith – Partner, Mark Crean – Partner, and Hemang Shah – Of Counsel, from Jones Day
Competition and consumer law is an important issue when conducting business in Australia. Sectors like telecommunications, retailers, and tech companies have recently come under the spotlight because of competition or consumer law issues, but all businesses big and small need to be aware of how this area of law applies to them.
Competition law is particularly important for fund managers and investors to consider when they are looking to deploy capital where competition law issues may arise.
The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 governs competition and consumer law in Australia, with the aim of promoting competition and fair trading while also providing consumer protection. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), established in 1995, is the statutory authority whose role is to enforce and administer the Act. It has extensive enforcement and investigative powers, among them the capacity to approve or reject a merger or takeover if it is determined to lessen competition in a market or markets in Australia.
Certain transactions undertaken by private capital investors will also require approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). FIRB will consult with various government departments and agencies, including the ACCC, before making its recommendation to the Treasurer.
Engaging with the ACCC and navigating through their processes can be demanding for applicants that have not done so before. Jones Day, a leading global law firm, has prepared a guide to competition law matters in the private capital and M&A context, covering issues from a high level. The guide also helps readers to understand the concerns and issues that the ACCC will normally consider in its assessments – applicants should be well aware of these and seek in-house or external legal counsel before making the decision to engage with the ACCC.
The guide can be downloaded here. If you’d like to talk to Jones Day further about assistance in these or similar matters, please contact:
Prudence Smith, Partner
+61 2 8272 0593
Mark Crean, Partner
+61 2 8272 0710
Hemang Shah, Of Counsel
+61 2 8272 0715