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Competition report delivered

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Media Release

The HON Joe Hockey MP

Minister for Financial Services & Regulation




The Minister for Financial Services & Regulation, Joe Hockey, today welcomed the National Competition Council’s final review of certain exempt ions from the competition rules in the Trade Practices Act 1974 .


“Reviewing laws to make sure they are not anti-competitive and to make sure they serve the public interest is a key part of the Government’s commitment to Australian consumers,” the Minister said.


“The Government is developing a formal response to the report that has regard to the need to improve competitiveness in the Australian economy, as well as other public interest considerations.”


The National Competition Council reviewed sections 51(2) and 51(3) of the Trade Practices Act 1974, which exempt certain conduct, such as the licensing and assignment of intellectual property rights, from prohibitions in the Act relating to restrictive trade practices.


The review has been done in line with the Commonwealth’s Legislative Review Schedule, which reviews laws that potentially restrict competition. The schedule is part of the Government’s commitment to National Competition Policy.


“Under the Legislative Review Schedule legislation that restricts competition should only be retained if community benefits as a whole outweigh the costs.


“The review also looks at whether the objectives of laws can be achieved more efficiently without restricting competition.


“More broadly, competition reviews are directed at protecting the interests of consumers by ensuring that regulation encourages competition, leading to lower prices, increased choice and higher living standards, while maintaining public interest protections.


“It is another examples of our commitment to consumer sovereignty and consumer empowerment.”


Copies of the Council’s final report can be obtained from Commonwealth Government bookshops or online at


24 June 1999



Media Contact: Matthew Abbott, Minister’s office, 02 6277 7230, 0413 076 213.



rw  1999-06-25  12:36