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Commerce Act proposal referred to Select Committee

Commerce Act proposals referred to Select Committee

The Minister of Commerce Paul Swain says proposed amendments to the Commerce Act will strengthen competition law and give the Commerce Commission more teeth.

Proposed amendments to the Commerce Act were today referred to the Commerce Select Committee.

Paul Swain says there are no surprises in the supplementary order paper. The proposed amendments reflect the Government’s pre-election policies.
"The paper does include one change from previous announcements," he said.

"After consulting further with business and officials we have decided to drop the proposed 'reverse burden of proof' option in section 36.

"This option would have meant that defendants would have had their case heard differently depending on whether the Commerce Commission or a private party initiated the proceedings. Individuals have the right to have civil proceedings heard in the same way. In order to be consistent we have dropped that option.

“The Government’s objective is to promote competition in markets for the long term benefit of consumers and the changes that we have outlined in this SOP are designed to achieve that," he said.

The supplementary order paper and Commerce Amendment Bill are to be passed this year. Submissions on the SOP can be made to the Commerce Select Committee.

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