New Australian price disclosure prohibitions take effect in June

By Michael Sheng and Alice Muhlebach, Ashurst

Australia’s parliament has passed the Competition and Consumer Amendment Act (No. 1), which introduces two new prohibitions into the Competition and Consumer Act 2010: a prohibition on private disclosures of price information to competitors (except in certain circumstances); and a prohibition on public disclosures of information about prices, capacity or strategy that have the purpose of substantially lessening competition.

The prohibitions are intended to apply only to the banking sector initially, and will take effect on 6 June.

Michael Sheng Partner Blake Dawson Shanghai
Michael Sheng
Blake Dawson

Scope of prohibitions

The new prohibitions will only apply to conduct concerning goods or services prescribed by regulation (“prescribed products”), and the commonwealth government has released draft regulations for this purpose. Under the draft regulations, the prohibitions would apply to goods and services provided by certain banking businesses – specifically, businesses that are “authorised deposit-taking institutions” under the Banking Act 1959 – which consist, to any extent, of: taking money on deposit (other than as part-payment for identified goods or services); or making advances of money.

The prohibitions apply to suppliers and acquirers of prescribed products, which means that purchasers of prescribed products may risk contravening the prohibition. The government has received public submissions on the draft regulations, but has not yet released the final regulations.

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Michael Sheng is a partner at Blake Dawson in Shanghai, and Alice Muhlebach is a senior associate at Ashurst in Melbourne




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