ADI price signalling regulation registered

The Competition and Consumer Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 1) was registered on 29 May 2012. It will commence on 6 June 2012.

Regulation 48 prescribes that goods and services provided by an authorised deposit-taking institution within the meaning of the Banking Act 1959 (ADI) consisting, to any extent, of either the taking of money on deposit (otherwise than as part-payment for identified goods or services) or making advances of money are subject to the Competition and Consumer Act Division 1A prohibition of the private disclosure of pricing information between competitors which are not made in the ordinary course of business and the prohibition of the disclosure of pricing or other information if the disclosure is made for the purpose of substantially lessening competition.

The Explanatory Memorandum states that:

“Regulation 48 is intended to recognise that ADIs may carry on a wider range of activities than just ‘banking business’ activities. Therefore, Division 1A will only apply to goods and services provided by ADIs that relate to the taking of money on deposit (otherwise than as part-payment for identified goods or services) or making advances of money. …

A disclosure related to an activity outside of banking; for example, a disclosure related to the provision of travel insurance products, is not intended to be captured by regulation 48 (nor, accordingly, sections 44ZZW and 44ZZX of the CCA)….

The additional activities prescribed by the Banking Regulations 1966 to be ‘banking business’ are not covered by regulation 48 (and therefore the prohibitions in sections 44ZZW and 44ZZX of the CCA)….

A disclosure in connection with a transfer under the Financial Sector (Business Transfer and Group Restructure) Act 1999 is intended to come within the exception provided in subsection 44ZZZ(4) of the CCA.”

The Regulations also outline the process to be followed by the Minister before prescribing any future classes of goods or services to be subject to Division 1A of the CCA and provide forms and prescribe fees so parties can apply to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for immunity for proposed disclosures which may otherwise contravene the prohibitions in Division 1A of the CCA.

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