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Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Page: 6825

Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (15:35): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator FIFIELD: The Harper review has considered the operation of the misuse of market power provisions as part of a broader examination of the competition framework and put forward the possible changes. The government is carefully considering its response to the competition policy review undertaken by Professor Harper. Among its 56 recommendations, the review made a strong case for amending the current misuse of market power provisions so that it aimed at a corporation with substantial market power from engaging in conduct that substantially lessens competition. The review found that Australia's current misuse of market power provisions had proven unworkable in practice. According to the review, without an effective misuse of market power provision, large powerful companies can undertake particular activities to the detriment of consumers. Harper's proposed reframing of section 46 seeks to address this. A formal government response is expected to be released in the last quarter of this year.