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Cross-appointments between Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and NZ Commerce Commission



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Media Release of 23/11/2010 NO.008

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE WITH THE HON SIMON POWER MINISTER OF COMMERCE, NEW ZEALAND

CROSS-APPOINTMENTS BETWEEN AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION AND NZ COMMERCE COMMISSION

Australian Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer David Bradbury and New Zealand Commerce Minister Simon Power today announced cross-appointments between the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the New Zealand Commerce Commission.

The cross-appointments are one of the key outcomes under the Single Economic Market Outcomes Framework announced by the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers in August last year.

"This is a significant step that will further enhance the cooperation and coordination between these regulators and will improve the alignment and administration of competition and consumer laws between our countries," Mr Bradbury said.

Mr Power said the appointments will support convergence in the way the two regulators approach similar issues under competition and consumer laws.

"This will lead to more efficient and effective processes, and reduce business compliance costs for those operating on both sides of the Tasman."

ACCC member Dr Jill Walker will join the Commerce Commission as an associate member and will participate in matters relating to the Commerce and Fair Trading Acts. She will be involved in particular issues that have a trans-Tasman dimension such as merger clearance work involving trans -Tasman market developments.

Commerce Commission chair Dr Mark Berry has been appointed as an associate member of the ACCC and will be in a position to participate in all matters brought before the ACCC. At an operational level, he will bring valuable expertise to the ACCC.

The two are expected to carry out most of their work from their respective countries but may cross the Tasman from time to time. They have been appointed for three-year terms from 1 December 2010 to 30 November 2013.

There will be an internal assessment near the end of the cross-appointment period to assess the arrangement and see if there is any need for enhancements or amendments. It is envisaged that the term of any future appointments will coincide with the member's appointment to their home agency.

Background

Dr Mark Berry has chaired the Commerce Commission since April 2009 and was its deputy chair from 1999 until 2001. Prior to his appointment he was practising as a commercial barrister. His work in the field of competition law and economic regulation has covered a wide range of sectors, including electricity, gas, dairy, and telecommunications. He has been published widely in the field of competition law and holds a Master of Laws from Monash University and a doctorate from Columbia University. He is a Research Principal at the New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation at Victoria University, Wellington, and is also a member of the International Advisory Board at the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He

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is a former partner of Bell Gully, and a former consultant for Chapman Tripp, both Wellington law firms.

Dr Jill Walker commenced a five-year term as a member of the ACCC in September 2009. She chairs the ACCC's Mergers Review Committee. She holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in Arts, majoring in economics, and has a doctorate in land economy from Cambridge University. Before her appointment, Dr Walker worked as an economic consultant with LECG, advising both regulatory agencies and private sector clients on competition and regulatory issues. She has also been a member of the Australian Competition Tribunal, and an expert adviser to the ACCC, the Prices Surveillance Authority and the Trade Practices Commission, the ACCC's predecessors.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is an independent statutory authority formed in 1995 to administer the Trade Practices Act 1974 and other acts. It promotes competition and fair trade in the market place to benefit consumers, business and the community. It also regulates national infrastructure industries. The ACCC is composed of the chair Graeme Samuel, two deputy chairs Michael Schaper and Peter Kell, members Sarah Court, Ed Willett, Joe Dimasi and Jill Walker, and associate members Christopher Chapman, and Andrew Reeves.

The Commerce Commission is an independent Crown entity established under the Commerce Act 1986. It is responsible for enforcing competition, fair trading and consumer credit contract laws, and has regulatory responsibilities in the electricity lines, gas pipelines, telecommunications, dairy, and airport industries. The commission is composed of chair Dr Mark Berry, deputy chair Sue Begg, members Donal Curtin, Pat Duignan, Anita Mazzoleni, and Ross Patterson (also Telecommunications Commissioner), and associate members Dr Stephen Gale and Gowan Pickering.

23 November 2010

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