Australia is undertaking a review of its competition policy settings in a bid to boost productivity and wages, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said.
(Bloomberg) — Australia is undertaking a review of its competition policy settings in a bid to boost productivity and wages, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said.
The two-year review, conducted by a task force established within Treasury, will look at competition laws, policies and institutions, Chalmers said in a statement Wednesday.
Australia’s productivity growth has slowed over the past decade, with reduced competition partly to blame with evidence of “increased market concentration, a rise in markups and a reduction in dynamism across many parts of the economy,” Chalmers said.
“We need to ensure our competition policy settings are fit for purpose in the face of the big shifts underway in our economy, so we can make the most of digitalization, the growth in services, the net zero transformation, while supporting our nation’s most vulnerable,” he added.
The review is expected to “provide continuous advice rather than a formal report.” Initial issues to be considered by the review will include:
- Proposals put forward by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission around merger reform, as well as other competition law issues
- Options for coordinated reform with states and territories, to be progressed through the Council on Federal Financial Relations
- Non-compete and related clauses that restrict workers from shifting to a better-paying job
- Providing advice on competition issues raised by new technologies, the net zero transformation and growth in the care economy
The Taskforce will be supported by an expert panel with members including the CEO of the Grattan Institute, Danielle Wood, and former Chair of the ACCC, Rod Sims.
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