Commerce Amendment Bill

Commerce Amendment Bill introduced to the House on 28 March 2018.

The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, introduced a new Commerce Amendment Bill to the House. The policy to be given effect in this Bill includes:

  • empowering the Commerce Commission to undertake market studies (referred to as ‘competition studies’ in the Bill)
  • enabling the Commerce Commission to accept enforceable undertakings in relation to enforcement matters under the Commerce Act
  • repealing the little-used cease and desist regime in the Commerce Act
  • strengthening the regulatory regime for airports under Part 4 of the Commerce Act.

The Commerce Amendment Bill is available on the government legislation website. It has been referred to the Transport and Infrastructure Committee for consideration.

Follow the progress of the Bill through the House.

Further information on market studies

A market study is a study into any factors that may affect competition for the supply or acquisition of goods or services. A market study provides a means of identifying what is going on in a market and why. Unlike a competition enforcement investigation, it is not the actions of a specific company that are the focus of a market study, but the structure and behaviour of the market itself. Market studies can allow the identification of factors that are preventing, restricting or distorting competition, efficiency, and reducing consumer welfare in that market.

Cabinet agreed that the Commerce Commission should be empowered to undertake market studies where the undertaking of the market study is in the public interest. Market studies may be initiated by the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs or by the Commerce Commission on its own initiative.

In carrying out a market study, the Commerce Commission will be required to publish its terms of reference for each study which will set out the scope and timeframe for completion. In addition, the Commerce Commission will be required to publish a draft report and consider any public submissions. Any recommendations in a final report will be non-binding, but may include a range of matters to improve the performance of markets, such as changes to regulation or changes in policy or behaviour of market participants.

Further information on airports regime

This Bill will also make amendments to the Commerce Act to improve the effectiveness of the information disclosure regime for major airports, following a review carried out by MBIE.

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