Thursday, 19 October 2006
Trade Practices Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2005
Consideration of House of Representatives Message
At the end of my contribution I will move further amendments to the bill in the terms circulated by me on sheet 5108. I think it is very important that we try to mitigate the effects of what is currently happening out there in the marketplace, that we at least instil some time frame back into the watchdog, the ACCC, and that this amendment actually allows, on complex mergers when required, the ACCC to say: ‘This is a bit difficult; there is a lot of information that we have to go through. The Australian people have a right for us to know exactly the ramifications of this merger. So we need a bit more time.’ I have suggested 80 days, so 40 and 80 is 120 days. That is four months. Let us think of some of the mergers you might have to deal with—PBL and News Ltd or Coles and Woolworths. It is going to take more than 40 days to get through those.