Government Merger Reform proposals

The Australian Government has issued a merger reform paper with proposals intending to make Australia’s merger control system stronger, simpler, targeted, faster and transparent.

The new merger control system will apply from 1 January 2026.

A merger can occur when there is a change of control of a business or asset.

The person or people acquiring control of the business or assets will – if the thresholds are met – be required to notify the ACCC of a ‘merger’.

Thresholds will be monetary ( using business metrics such as turnover (sales revenue), profitability or transaction value) and supply/market share-based.

Mergers below the thresholds may also be voluntarily notified to the ACCC.

A merger must not be implemented until the ACCC has determined that it may be (with or without conditions). Any merger or contract, arrangement or understanding related to the merger, which
purports to be put into effect otherwise than in accordance with the ACCC’s determination, or the time period has otherwise elapsed, will be void.

The ACCC must permit a merger to be put into effect unless the ACCC reasonably believes that the merger would have the effect, or be likely to have the effect, of substantially lessening competition in
any market, including (but not exclusively) if the merger creates, strengthens or entrenches a position of substantial market power in any market.

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David Jacobson

Author: David Jacobson
Principal, Bright Corporate Law
About David Jacobson
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. It is not to be relied upon as a full statement of the law. You should seek professional advice for your specific needs and circumstances before acting or relying on any of the content.

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