Harper review: Coles, Woolies fight recommended change to competition laws

 In Australia, Coles, NewZealand, Woolworths
Coles and Woolworths would benefit from more flexible opening hours and be able to sell prescription medication under the Harper review’s recommendations, but the supermarket giants are fighting against a new "effects test" being introduced into competition law.
The federal government’s competition policy review recommended changing competition laws so that companies can be prosecuted for conduct that has the effect or likely effect of substantially reducing competition. The current test, which has been difficult to prove, requires regulators to demonstrate that a company used its market power with the "purpose" of damaging a competitor.
The proposal has been greeted warmly by the government and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, but has been criticised by the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA), which represents Woolworths and Coles.
The ANRA said an effects test would have a "chilling effect on competition" and "dampen pro-competitive behaviour".  Sydney Morning Herald – Read more…

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