Review of section 36 of the Commerce Act and other matters

Submissions closed: 01 April 2019, 9am

Consultation on the review of section 36 of the Commerce Act relating to the misuse of market power, along with other minor changes began on 25 January 2019 and closed on 1 April 2019.


Competitive markets are important for the benefit of consumers and businesses. The Commerce Act sets the rules of the game to ensure that businesses can compete on their merits. Section 36 of the Commerce Act seeks to prevent incumbent firms with market power from abusing that power to suppress competition.

As part of a targeted review of the Commerce Act, the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs released a discussion document on 25 January 2019.

The discussion document proposed:

  • amending section 36 to bring New Zealand’s law in line with Australia and other developed economies.
  • repealing sections of the Commerce Act that shield some intellectual property arrangements from competition law
  • making technical changes to the treatment of covenants under the Act.


Submissions closed on 1 April 2019 and a total of 29 submissions were received from a number of businesses, industry organisations, competition and intellectual property-focused law firms, and the Commerce Commission. Personal contact details have been redacted from submissions. Two submissions have not been published at the request of the submitters. The Government is currently considering submissions and expects to make final policy decisions by early 2020.

View the submissions received(external link)

More information

You can find more information in the Cabinet Paper:

Cabinet Paper: Release of Discussion Document: Review of Section 36 of the Commerce Act and Other Matters [PDF, 153 KB]

Last updated: 22 October 2019