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MinterEllison advises clients on all aspects of the anti-competitive (antitrust) provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, especially misuse of market power (abuse of dominance), predatory pricing, exclusive dealing, resale price maintenance and third line forcing.
We work closely with clients so that arrangements and transactions are structured in the best way possible to meet commercial and strategic goals, whilst ensuring they do not fall foul of the Competition and Consumer Act.
Competition in the Australian grocery retail industry has been a focus of Australian media, politics, and regulatory activity for several years. This article describes the dynamics of the industry in Australia, details the competition concerns, and outlines how the government and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have responded to these concerns
In a December 2013 judgment, the Federal Court of Australia found that a major Australian travel agent attempted to enter into price fixing arrangements with several international airlines. These judgments have created uncertainty about the application of Australia's cartel laws where suppliers distribute products through multiple channels. Partner Paul Schoff reports on the recent decision of the Federal Court of Australia.
The first court decision applying the cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 has set the bar for establishing per se liability worryingly low. Significantly for M&A practitioners, the case calls into question the traditional risk assessment of 'back to back' or 'partial follow on' transactions from a bid-rigging perspective, including those that occur offshore. With an appeal by Bradken lodged in April, it seems 'at least possible' the Federal Court will revisit the low bar applied to satisfaction of the competition condition in this case - and the outcome will be one to watch.
Partners Paul Schoff and Katrina Groshinski have contributed the Australian chapter of the American Bar Association's 2012 Antitrust Year in Review.