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Independent Consumer Competition Commission Act Amended

By Meriba Tulo – EMTV News, Port Moresby

The country’s competition watchdog has welcomed recent amendments made to the ICCC Act.

The amendments to Sections 81 and 82 of the ICCC Act now makes it mandatory for businesses to seek clearance and authorization from the ICCC prior to entering into any major acquisitions or mergers. The amendments were passed by parliament last week.

In the last parliament sitting, MPs voted to accept amendments to the Independent Consumer Competition Commission Act which now make it mandatory for companies wishing to undertake acquisitions to declare their intentions to the ICCC.

The amendments are for Sections 81 and 82 of the ICCC Act, which relates to the clearance and authorization processes to review any potentially anti-competitive business mergers and acquisitions.

The amendments come at a time when several big acquisitions have been announced, and are in the final process of being completed – and whilst these amendments are not retrospective, there are areas that can be enforced through the amendments.

The ICCC has also been quick to reassure business that these changes to legislation are aimed at fostering more competition within Papua New Guinea.

Parliament’s approval of the amendments complete a process which had seen the ICCC conduct consultations with various stakeholders, which began in 2014.

Whilst the ICCC is pleased with the support from Parliament in approving these legislative changes, it is also aware of the need for improved enforcement of the ICCC Act, particularly in regards to mergers and acquisitions.

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