Over the past 30 years, the Australian statutory regime regulating competition and restrictive trade practices has been the subject of much, significant reform. The evolution has been driven by the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. In this respect, debates — some familiar, others more novel — continue. These debates are occurring in the profession, the academy, and even in the media and the broader community. After all, the harms which Australian competition law seeks to prevent, and redress, have significant, direct impacts across society, from sophisticated multinationals to the everyday consumer. Meanwhile, the regulator in Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, is notoriously active in promoting and enforcing (including, testing the limits of) the prohibitions on restrictive trade practices.
Part IV of the statutory regime regulates inter alia cartel conduct, anti-competitive contracts and collusive conduct, misuse of market power, and mergers. This volume comprises essays that examine many of the key questions and debates in respect of each of the prohibitions. The focus is on the Australian statutory topography and the collection is avowedly concerned with debates and issues of contemporary importance. The chapters traverse a range of topics of significance today, and which are likely to continue to be of special relevance into the future. It includes perspectives from the judiciary, the regulator, the practising profession, and the academy, including a foreword by the Honourable Justice Nye Perram.
This volume, along with the companion volume, are essential reading for those called upon to determine competition matters, lawyers practising in competition and commercial law, and those teaching and researching the subject.
The twelve essays cover a large amount of ground, are works of scholarship, and repay careful reading. Mr Gvozdenovic and Mr Puttick are to be commended for conceiving of the need for this important work and for the assiduity with which it has been edited. Current Issues in Competition Law: Practice and Perspectives will make a welcome addition to any competition lawyer’s library.
The Honourable Nye Perram
Justice of the Federal Court of Australia