Commission puts a time on inquiries

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced indicative timeframes which it will apply to telecommunications investigations and inquiries.

In the case of anticompetitive conduct investigations, ACCC will determine whether it will proceed with the complaint 30 days from the initial complaint.

The ACCC will then attempt to decide whether it has a 'reason to believe' there has been a contravention of the Trade Practices Act 1974 within a further three months.

If the 'reason to believe' test has been satisfied, the ACCC will aim to decide on whether to issue a competition notice within a further 30 days.

Indicative time frames for declaration inquiries are:

ACCC will decide whether or not to proceed with an inquiry within 30 days of receiving a written request to hold an inquiry. It will then outline a period within which the inquiry is to be held.

The ACCC will aim to release a discussion paper, hold any hearings and issue a draft report within six months in the case of major or complex inquiries. It will attempt to release a final report within a further three to six months.

In other declaration inquiries, the ACCC will aim to issue a final report within six months of commencing the inquiry.

"Meeting these timeframes will require the cooperation of industry. The ACCC has been concerned in the past about not receiving quality and timely information from industry," said Allan Fels, ACCC chairman.

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