Australian merger clearance reform

Competition and Market Regulation Update

Australia may see a more streamlined merger clearance process in the future after the Government decided to support the recommendations of the Harper Review's Final Report in relation to competition merger law. The Government has committed to developing exposure draft legislation for public consultation on changes to the formal merger review process and has noted its expectations of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in relation to the informal merger review process.

Changes to merger laws are likely to impact businesses in the following key ways:

  • Merger parties may receive merger clearance decisions more quickly. 
  • Merger parties will have less options to choose from when considering which form of merger clearance they will seek. 
  • All merger clearances will initially need to be sought from the ACCC as the option of obtaining merger authorisation by the Australian Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) in the first instance will no longer exist.

Download the update to view how the Government's proposed process may differ to the current merger clearance process or contact a member of our competition law team to learn more about these reforms.