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November 29 , 2009

The Australian Trade Practices Act 1974

Proscriptions and Prescriptions for a More Competitive Economy


This book presents a collection of papers which evaluate the achievements of the Australian Trade Practices Act 1974 in making Australian markets more competitive. The contributors have all played major roles in Australian and New Zealand antitrust actions, either as expert economic witnesses, as antitrust enforcers, as judges or as quasi-judicial administrators. No other publication presents such in-depth economic analysis of the Act and the cases decided under it in its first two decades of its operation.
As well as an introductory paper, this collection includes a foreword by the Hon. George Gear, Assistant Treasurer of the Australian Government and Minister responsible for the administration of the Act, plus two broad analytical overviews of the last two decades of Australian antitrust actions by two economists who have continually been at the heart of antitrust proceedings. In addition, papers are provided which give a judicial view of the Act and economic analysis, which compare the Act with its New Zealand counterpart. Other contributions look in detail at those sections of the Act which cover mergers, misuse of market power, price-fixing and vertical practices. The book shows that the Act has had a major impact on Australian market behavior. Judges, lawyers and economists between them have produced a truly Australian approach to antitrust, which has reflected overseas trends in both law and economics, as well as developed a unique Australian flavor.
The book will be of interest to academic and practicing lawyers and economists, judges and corporate executives. It will be essential reading for Australian students in undergraduate courses in antitrust law, business regulation, antitrust economics and industrial organization. It provides by far the most comprehensive economic evaluation of Australian antitrust yet published and so will be the definitive source of information on this topic for non-Australians interested in comparative antitrust legislation and enforcement issues.
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