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Pro-competitive Regulation

Office of Regulation Review discussion paper

This paper was released in November 1992. The paper examines how pro- procompetitive regulation, and particularly restrictive trade competitive practices legislation, can best be used to improve market outcomes. It integrates the research and findings of recent Commission inquiries which have dealt with these issues.

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1   Introduction

2   The Role of Restrictive Trade Practices Regulation
2.1   Efficiency and competition
2.2   Efficiency and consumer interests

3   Regulation of Competitive Markets
3.1   Defining the market
3.2   Assessing competition
      Industry concentration
      Firm profitability
      Barriers to entry
      Barriers to imports
      Countervailing market power
3.3   Regulating market practices
      Anti-competitive agreements
      Misuse of market power
      Anti-competitive exclusive dealing
      Resale price maintenance

      Anti-competitive price discrimination
3.4   Regulating market structure
      Effects of mergers on economic efficiency
      Applying the mergers test
      Divestiture powers
3.5   Summing up

4   Regulation of Monopolies
4.1   Natural monopolies
      General approaches
      Specific applications
      Policy implications
4.2   Mandated monopolies
      Community service obligations
      Statutory marketing arrangements
4.3   The regulatory regime
      Guaranteeing access to services
      Preventing monopoly pricing - the role of the PSA

5   Scope of the Act
5.1   Exemptions to government agencies
      Government business enterprises
      Statutory marketing arrangements
5.2   Industry-specific regulation
5.3   Labour market exemptions
5.4   Intellectual property exemptions
      Implications of the exemption

6   Administration versus Judicial Enforcement
6.1   Judicial enforcement
      Prosecutions, civil actions and remedies
      Statutory guidance for judicial interpretation
      Jurisdiction and rules of evidence
6.2   Administrative measures
      TPC guidelines
      Industry codes of practice
      Administrative settlements
      Pre-merger notification

7   Summary
7.1   Focussing regulatory effort
7.2   Expanding the scope of the Act
7.3   Targeting administration and enforcement
7.4   Conclusion

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