Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Economics Legislation Committee; Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee; Additional Information
by leave—I move
That the Senate take note of the Economics Legislation Committee report into the Trade Practices Amendment (Material Lessening of Competition—Richmond Amendment) Bill 2009.
I will be brief in my remarks, given the time and the time constraints in relation to this, but I want to make it clear that there is one aspect of this report that needs to be clarified. My colleagues know that this relates to a bill that I introduced in relation, effectively, to creeping acquisitions.
There is one aspect of this report that needs to be clarified. During the inquiry, Associate Professor Frank Zumbo from the University of New South Wales gave evidence that the ACCC approves around 97 per cent of mergers that the ACCC considers. This figure was calculated from information provided in the ACCC’s annual reports. Associate Professor Zumbo’s reference to this 97 per cent is factually correct and an accurate representation of the ACCC’s own statistics. I direct my colleagues to consider how the ACCC has looked at these figures.
The suggestion that this claim is misleading needs to be taken in the context of the ACCC’s report, and I think it is important that the record reflects that Professor Zumbo provided the information that he did and the evidence that he did, based on the ACCC’s report. I do not believe that it is a fair characterisation to say that it is misleading, in the circumstances. I think that ought to be acknowledged. I think we should also acknowledge the enormous amount of work that Professor Zumbo does in terms of advancing the debate on competition law in this country.
Question agreed to.