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Stronger competition laws remain on agenda

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is calling upon the Coalition Government to adopt stronger
misuse of market power laws to foster a more competitive business environment.

While some business groups have suggested that stronger laws about the misuse of market power may have negative impacts on competition and innovation,
these claims don’t withstand scrutiny.
ADF President, Noel Campbell said concerns that the introduction of an effects test could put consumers at risk were unfounded.
“These changes are about protecting consumers and competition from actions that substantially lessen competition in a market. These reforms are in
consumers’ interests,’ said Mr Campbell.
“The Harper Review made it clear, the law as it stand is inadequate. The Government must not let self-interested businesses and organisations with
excessive market share further limit competition to the detriment of consumers, farmers and the Government.”
ADF strongly supports the Harper Review’s recommendations for any updated competition and consumer law to include an effects test. ADF is advocating
for certainty that the legal process is able to provide integrity and transparency regarding the impact of retailer actions on suppliers.
Almost all OECD countries already have an ‘effects test’ within their legislative schemes and there should be no trouble in drafting an appropriate
test that protects the integrity of Australian market. ADF is hopeful that this will prevent damaging practices, including predatory pricing in
future.
Addressing the misuse of market power is crucial in determining the Australian dairy industry’s future profitability and sustainability. Farmers need
every opportunity to improve their negotiating power for profitability and returns at the farm-gate to be achieved.

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