The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it will be expanding its enforcement focus.
The competitions regulator referenced to current ongoing projects—the consumer data right implementation and the digital platform inquiry.
The related open banking regime will be in place next year July.
According to an official statement last week Friday, it will be looking data, algorithms and digital platforms.
“The ACCC is increasing its enforcement activities, and taking a firmer stance on sanctions and penalties with a view to making an even greater impact on compliance,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
Sims said that that the competition regulator will be focusing on obtaining more information about complexed mergers.
“Merger parties should be aware that we do not just take a narrow merger assessment during our reviews and will consider any other related agreements to determine whether they would, combined with the acquisition, be likely to substantially lessen competition or whether separately they potentially breach other provisions in the Competition and Consumer Act.”
Approach to Penalties
In addition to increasing it enforcement sphere, the competition regulator is also looking at increasing its enforcement penalties. This comes just months after the Organisations economic cooperation and Development chastised Australia that might not have been sufficient to deter regulatory breaches.
“In consumer protection, we hope Federal Parliament will this month pass legislation that will see penalties increased nine-fold from $1.1 million to $10 million, with the further framework of options for three times the gain or ten per cent of turnover, to get this key deterrence,” he said.