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Authorisation application received from Infant Nutrition Council

25 May 2018

The Commerce Commission has received an application from the Infant Nutrition Council Limited (INC) seeking authorisation for an arrangement allowing the INC to restrict its members from marketing formula products for children aged up to 12 months.

In 2015, the Commission authorised an arrangement allowing the INC to restrict its members from marketing infant formula products for children up to 6 months.

In the current application, the INC seeks authorisation from the Commission to amend its Code by extending the restrictions on the marketing of infant formula products to cover children up to 12 months old.

The Code forms an important part in New Zealand meeting its obligations under the World Health Assembly’s International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (WHO Code). In particular, the WHO Code aims to protect and promote breastfeeding.

If authorisation is granted, INC members will adopt the amended Code in place of the current Code.

The INC is a company representing the major manufacturers and marketers of infant formula, follow-on formula, and other early life nutrition products in Australia and New Zealand. It is owned by its members.

Public submissions on the application can be made in writing to with the reference Infant Nutrition Council in the subject line of the email.

A public version of the application will be available shortly on the Anti-competitive practices authorisations register.


The Commission may grant an authorisation under section 58 of the Commerce Act for certain agreements that may otherwise breach the Commerce Act if it is satisfied that the public benefits of the agreements outweigh the detriments arising from the loss of competition.

The Commission may also revoke an authorisation and grant a further authorisation in substitution for it under section 65(1)(b) of the Commerce Act if there has been a material change of circumstances since the authorisation was granted. 

The granting of a restrictive trade practice authorisation protects the applicant from court action under the Commerce Act by the Commission and private individuals.

The Commission’s Authorisation Guidelines explain when anti-competitive agreements will be authorised and the process used to determine authorisation applications.