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Craig Foss

27 February, 2013

International competition enforcement arrangement signed

Commerce Minister Craig Foss today welcomed the signing of a co-operation arrangement between the Commerce Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). 

The co-operation arrangement gives effect to the Commerce (International Co-operation, and Fees) Amendment Bill, which passed into law late last year. It enables the Commerce Commission to provide the ACCC with information that has been compulsorily-acquired under the Commerce Act, Fair Trading Act, Telecommunications Act, and Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act, subject to specific safeguards.

“There is now a real potential for joint investigations and an even stronger relationship between the Commerce Commission and ACCC,” says Mr Foss.

“As some forms of anti-competitive behaviour, such as cartels extend across borders, the co-operation arrangement will allow the Commerce Commission to assist, and be assisted by the ACCC. 

“This will result in more efficient enforcement of competition and consumer laws, and facilitate positive outcomes for consumers and businesses in both jurisdictions,” says Mr Foss.

To view the co-operation agreement visit http://www.comcom.govt.nz/international-relations/

Background

The Commerce Commission is an independent Crown entity established under the Commerce Act 1986.  The Commission enforces legislation that promotes competition in New Zealand markets and prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct by traders. The Commission also enforces a number of pieces of legislation that, through regulation, aim to provide the benefits of competition in markets where effective competition does not exist. This includes in the telecommunications, dairy, electricity, gas pipelines and airport sectors.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is an independent statutory authority. It was formed in 1995 to administer the Trade Practices Act 1974 (renamed the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 on 1 January 2011) and other acts.  The ACCC promotes competition and fair trade in markets to benefit consumers, businesses and the community. It also regulates national infrastructure services.

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