Consumer watchdog makes Competition Policy documents public
The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission has announced it is now releasing its three policy documents for use by stakeholders and the general public.
The three documents are the Business Acquisition Review Guidelines, the Leniency Policy and the Confidentiality Guidelines.
The Business Acquisition Review Guidelines is intended to explain the processes of Clearance and Authorization under the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission Act 2002 (ICCC Act).
This guideline explains the legal requirements under the ICCC Act in terms of when to apply for a clearance or authorization, the thresholds for mandatory notification, whether the ICCC would have issues with a transaction which may not meet the notification thresholds and therefore raise competition concerns.
It also sets out the processes that the ICCC is required to follow when assessing and determining an application for clearance or authorization.
Commissioner Paulus Ain said it is an important and informative document for businesses to appraise themselves about the prohibitions on anti-competitive business acquisitions regime under the ICCC Act.
Also included as part of the guideline, are the new clearance and authorization application forms that were developed for use following the amendment to sections 81 and 82 to the ICCC Act.
The Confidentiality Guideline is intended for stakeholders who submit commercially sensitive information to the ICCC for various reasons.
Commissioner Ain said that over the years, businesses often seek confidentiality when providing information which are thought to be commercially sensitive.
“Whilst section 131 of the ICCC Act provides that the ICCC should give due considerations for requests for confidentiality, the experience is that businesses seek ‘blanket’ confidentiality and often do not provide reasons for seeking confidentiality.”
“When trying to deal with confidentiality request that has such issues, it often takes the ICCC’s time away from concentrating on the substantive issue at hand.
“The ICCC therefore has developed the Confidentiality Guidelines for the stakeholders to do self-assessment and make confidentiality request accordingly.”
The Leniency Policy is developed to deal with cartel conduct.
Cartels are often highly secret and hard to detect, hence, competition authorities in many jurisdictions have developed and used leniency policies as a tool to successfully uncover and prosecute cartel members.
It provides the platform for the ICCC to provide incentives for members of a cartel to report anti-competitive activities.
This policy provides guides on how businesses and individuals can report cartel conduct to the ICCC, and how the ICCC will handle their applications.