6. January 2011 10:06
In some circumstances, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission may grant immunity from legal action for anti-competitive conduct. Immunity may be granted under the authorisation and notification provisions of the Act where “the public benefit from the anti-competitive conduct outweighs any public detriment”.
Conduct cannot be authorised retrospectively.
The ACCC has released a summary for businesses and legal practitioners regarding how to apply for an “authorisation” or a “notification”. A complete copy is available in pdf on the ACCC site.
The summary sets out:
- Who can apply
- How to apply for an authorisation
- Conduct to which an authorisation may relate (eg conduct which would otherwise constitute resale price maintenance, a secondary boycott, or a cartel provision)
- Relevant fees and procedure for application
- How to lodge a notification
- Conduct which may come within the scope of a notification (third line forcing conduct, other exclusive dealing conduct, collective bargaining)
- Relevant fees and procedure for lodgement
- Application for review.
The process is set out in further detail in the ACCC publications Guide to authorisation, Guide to exclusive dealing notifications and Guide to collective bargaining notifications.