National Farmers' Federation

NFF applauds mergers reform

The National Farmers’ Federation commends Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Assistant Minister Andrew Leigh for committing to reforming Australia’s merger and acquisition rules and processes to strengthen competition and streamline investment activity.

NFF President David Jochinke said farmers welcomed efforts to ensure corporate activity supported increased competition in Australia’s supply chains.

“Ensuring a competitive supply chain is crucial to Australian agriculture, and getting competition settings right is critical to better outcomes for both producers and consumers,” Mr Jochinke said.

“We’ve stated for a long time that mergers and acquisition reform was a central to improving the competitive landscape, and welcome the announcements made today as  important and tangible actions.”

The NFF is pleased to see recommendations to give increased powers to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to assess the competitive impacts of proposed mergers and acquisitions activity.

This is to ensure they give rise to pro-competitive outcomes, including streamlining scrutiny through one pathway via the ACCC, bolstering assessment of  proposed activity by those who hold substantial market power in concentrated sectors such as supply chains, and assessing the cumulative impacts of multiple mergers and acquisitions.

“This reform package appears to be a step in the right direction in balancing the need to have a review process that does not deter investment in the Australian economy, but similarly ensures a strong and appropriate framework is in place to protect Australian producers and consumers,” Mr Jochinke said.

“While there is still more to do, we thank the Treasurer and Assistant Minister for the work to improve Australia’s competition laws and we look forward to staying engaged with the process as they implement this package.”