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COVID-19: (Australia) August 2020 Update to the Guide to ACCC Approvals on Industry Collaboration

Date: 18 August 2020
Australia Policy and Regulatory Alert
By: Ayman Guirguis, David Howarth, Mei Gong

Our policy and regulatory team has updated our guide to industry collaboration approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find additional information in our Insight here, or you can contact us directly with your query. 

In brief

  • Industry collaborations that involve restrictions on supply of goods or services are likely to be per se illegal under Australian competition law. However, businesses can seek to self-assess legal risks under the joint venture exception to cartel conduct or seek to have proposed cartel conduct authorised (approved) by the ACCC.
  • Following the grant of 25 interim authorisations in March and April 2020, the ACCC has now granted 12 final authorisations and issued 12 draft determinations (with interim authorisations continuing to be in place). 
  • This article builds on our initial insight dated 3 April and provides a comprehensive overview of the scope of the collaborative conduct approved and conditions imposed.
  • We are ready to assist businesses at short notice to either join an existing ACCC authorisation, make a submission about an application, or, if you consider that you need to collaborate with competitors due to the difficulties COVID-19 has created, to assist with preparing an application for authorisation. 

This publication/newsletter is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. The information herein should not be used or relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting a lawyer. Any views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the law firm's clients.

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