Competition Law and Policy

Competition law and policy relate to legal and regulatory settings that promote, improve and increase rivalry between competing businesses with the objective of promoting efficiency to the benefit of consumer welfare. Competition itself is a dynamic process undergoing continuing change. Many factors influence the degree to which competition thrives. These include sectoral characteristics, dynamic, allocative and productive efficiencies, the intensity of the product or services substitution processes and levels of enforcement. As with most politically contested areas, there are pressures from specific interest groups that claim to need protection from the effects of competition or need special rules. Competition regulation is in a state of flux, with legislative changes flowing from the 2015 Harper review coming into effect in late 2017. As in other Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation domains CLMR researchers take a wide view of what constitutes competition law and policy and the regulatory strategies which are significant and worthy of investigation in order that their research and competition law both have impact. 

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Active Projects

  • ASEAN Competition Law Capacity Building Roadmap. This project is funded by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ($130,140) to facilitate ASEAN’s Regional Capacity Building Roadmap to reflect the many significant developments in relation to competition law and policy in the region in conjunction with ASEAN’s commitment to implement the ASEAN Competition Action Plan 2016-2025. The aim is to provide ASEAN with options for well-designed capacity building to contribute to the effectiveness and efficiency of the region’s competition agencies. Deborah Healey is the Chief Investigator, with Dr Hassan Qaqaya (University of Melbourne) and May Cheong (Australian Catholic University)  as Investigators.
  • Competition Law and Financial Services Regulation
  • Conspiracy or Coincidence: Assessing Concerted Practices under Amended Australian Competition Law. This project has funding of $10K from the UNSW Business School under a Special Research Grant. Rob Nicholls is the Chief Investigator.
  • Franchisees – Consumers or Capitalists: Locating Added Value in Franchise Systems. This project has funding of $9K from the Centre for Social Impact. The Lead Chief Investigator is Rob Nicholls with co-Chief Investigator Professor Jenny Buchan of the UNSW Business School.

Completed Projects

  • Evaluating the competitiveness of industry superannuation providers. This 2016 project had funding of $10K from the UNSW Business School under a Special Research Grant. Rob Nicholls was the Chief Investigator.
  • Rob Nicholls was the Chief Investigator on Centre for International Financial Regulation grant T020 entitled “Competition law and policy in Australian financial services legislation”. Professor Deborah Healey and Dr Marina Nehme were Primary Investigators. This $230,000 grant project was completed on time and within budget.