Call 1300 565 846 or +61 2 9458 7005
Close

Subscribe

Join our mailing list to receive breaking news and webinar invites.

Please tick if you'd like to receive alerts and webinar invites on the following topics:



By submitting this form you agree to the terms of our Privacy Policy.: By submitting this form you agree to the terms of our Privacy Policy.

Resources

Changes to the Competition and Consumer Act –  Third Line Forcing

Changes to the Competition and Consumer Act – Third Line Forcing

21 Nov 2017

Changes to the Competition and Consumer Act –  Third Line Forcing
WRITTEN BY
Deepti Wadhwa
Deepti Wadhwa
Senior Associate

Changes to the Competition and Consumer Act – Third Line Forcing

21 Nov 2017

Article written by: Deepti Wadhwa

Parliament has recently passed important legislative amendments to Australian competition law following recommendations from the 2015 Harper Competition Policy Review. The legislative amendments contain a wide range of changes to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) in areas such as third line forcing, misuse of market power, cartels, price signalling and concerted practices and resale price maintenance (amongst others).
                                                                                                                                                    
This article will focus on the amendments to the third line forcing laws and how the amendments will impact notification requirements to the ACCC.

What is third line forcing?

 Third line forcing is a form of exclusive dealing, and occurs when a business will only supply goods or services, or give a particular price or discount on the condition that the purchaser buys goods or services from a particular third party. If the purchaser does not comply with the condition, the business will refuse to supply the purchaser with goods or services. 

How has the law changed?

Until the amendments, third line forcing was a ‘per se’ breach of the CCA, meaning that it was automatically a breach of the CCA unless there was a valid notification with the ACCC in place. The legal test has now changed so that third line forcing will only breach the CCA if the restriction is likely to substantially lessen competition.

How will this impact your practices?

By removing the automatic breach rule, businesses now no longer have to automatically lodge an ACCC notification where they expect to engage in third line forcing unless they are concerned that their conduct may substantially lessen competition. The ACCC anticipates that many of the types of arrangements that have been notified to date will no longer require notification, as most third line forcing arrangements which are currently notified have only a minor effect on competition and are therefore not likely to substantially lessen competition.
 
To reflect the change in approach to required notifications, the ACCC has also increased the fee for lodging a third line forcing notification from $100 to $2500 per notification.
 
If you are currently engaging in, or expecting to engage in, third line forcing activities and want specific advice on whether these new laws will affect you, don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 565 846.
 
The content of this article is general in nature, and is intended to provide commentary only. It does not constitute advice, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Targeted formal legal advice should be obtained prior to any action being taken in relation to a matter arising in response to the content of this article.
 

Join our mailing list to receive breaking news and webinar invites.

Please tick if you'd like to receive alerts and webinar invites on the following topics:



By submitting this form you agree to the terms of our Privacy Policy.

Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors (ABLA) is a proud member of the Australian Business Solutions Group, which offers extensive resources to help businesses in a range of areas, including: international trade, marketing, OHS, HR,  recruitment, management consulting and apprenticeship. 


To understand how we protect your privacy, please refer to our Privacy Policy.