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Australia: ACCC temporarily spared Harper overhaul

 |  November 24, 2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been given a temporary reprieve after the federal government delayed its verdict on the Harper review’s proposed overhaul of the competition regulator.

The ACCC regulates the pricing and access terms of key services including telecommunications and water. The Competition Policy Review, led by Ian Harper, called for this key role to be given to a dedicated access and pricing regulator under recommendation 50.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims had spoken out against the proposal and called for the competition watchdog to retain this function.

The government on Tuesday said it remained open to this recommendation but would seek more support and feedback from the states and territories before making a decision on the contentious topic. It has agreed to 44 of the review’s 56 recommendations, with the rest deferred indefinitely.

Mr Sims said in a statement that he supported the government’s response to the broader Harper review.

“The ACCC looks forward to working constructively with the government as it implements these recommendations,” he said.

Full content: The Sydney Morning Herald

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