MGA backs effects test deal

Master Grocers Australia is providing strong support for a deal that would see federal Cabinet approve the introduction of an effects test to strengthen misuse-of-market-power provisions in Australia’s competition laws.

Under the deal, revealed in The Australian Financial Review this week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has reportedly agreed to back the effects test as part of a new agreement with the National Party.

MGA CEO Jos de Bruin says introducing an effects test, along with other changes, will increase “real competition”.

“It gives the ACCC the power it needs to crack down on anti-competitive practices which have been used by some of Australia’s biggest businesses,” he said.

“Adopting changes to strengthen the laws is good policy and also good politics. It has broad appeal across the community. It shows the Coalition Government is in tune with the needs of all business – not just an elite group of very large businesses. It is also a welcome sign of real reform.”

Mr de Bruin said it would be a particular triumph for Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson, who had worked tirelessly over years to bring forward this change.

“Bruce Billson has stuck with this despite the loud objections of an elite group of Australia’s biggest corporations, clustered under the umbrella of the Business Council of Australia. We are deeply grateful for his efforts.”

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