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Australia: Coles, Woolworths seen as biggest losers in ACCC’s revamped competition push

 |  September 22, 2014

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission may have the most to gain from a draft review of the nation’s competition laws released Monday, but reports note that the draft could threaten some of Australia’s largest companies, particularly supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths.

Economist Ian Harper released his anticipated report on the state of the nation’s competition policy, suggesting significant reform of competition laws applying to various industries. Among the proposals includes streamlining agricultural marketing bodies and restricting pharmacy ownership, say reports.

But the biggest revelation in the report is the misuse of market dominance. Reports say Harper is now championing the ACCC to establish an effects test that would bar a dominant company from an action that could harm competition.

Reports say the move would give the ACCC more power to regulate dominant companies, while small businesses would be protected from anticompetitive conduct from its largest rivals.

Reports note that while the report has made shockwaves in the nation, debate will likely carry on before significant reforms are made.

Full content: Sydney Morning Herald

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