The COVID-19 Response (Further Management Measures) Legislation Act (the Amendment Act) enables the Commission to better respond to the needs of businesses seeking legal certainty through the authorisation process during the epidemic period. It provides two ways to realise the benefits of authorisation sooner, the Commission may grant:

  • a provisional authorisation, enabling conduct to proceed while the Commission considers and consults on the application
  • an authorisation without issuing a draft determination or holding a conference.

The Amendment Act also gives the Commission the discretion to waive all or part of any fee payable for applications for authorisation made during the epidemic period.

The Commission will endeavour to determine any COVID-19 related application as quickly as possible, while acting consistent with the requirements of the statutory framework, the rights and interests of affected parties, and the public interest.

We have issued guidelines to assist businesses by explaining when and how we will use the new provisions. The guidelines are general in nature and we intend to take a pragmatic approach to applying these provisions during this time.

These guidelines do not, and cannot, address every issue that might arise, so anyone contemplating applying to us for authorisation of an anti-competitive agreement should consider seeking legal advice.

Read more in our Authorisations under COVID-19 guidelines PDF (707 KB)