Price signalling bill introduced

The Competition and Consumer Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2011 has been introduced into Parliament.

The Bill prohibits both the private disclosure of pricing information between competitors and disclosures which take place in the public domain and/or are related to information other than pricing information if they were made with the purpose of substantially lessening competition.

However exemptions include:

  • the disclosure of information by a corporation if the disclosure is authorised by or under a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory and the disclosure occurs before the end of 10 years after the day on which the Competition and Consumer Amendment Act (No. 1) 2011 receives the Royal Assent.
  • Disclosure to related bodies corporate
  • Disclosure for collective bargaining
  • Compliance with continuous disclosure requirements of the Corporations Act 2001
  • Disclosure of information to acquirer or supplier of goods or services
  • Disclosure to unknown competitor
  • Disclosure to participants in joint venture
  • Disclosure relating to acquisition of shares or assets

The law if passed will apply initially to the banking sector, but the Government has indicated it may apply it to other sectors in the future.

Consequences for breach of the legislation by a corporation would include a fine of up to $10 million.

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