Stronger Merger Reforms Welcomed by ACCC

The ACCC welcomes the Government’s announcement today that it will move to strengthen Australia’s merger laws, bringing Australia into line with most other developed economies.

The proposed reforms will be announced by the Treasurer, the Honourable Dr Jim Chalmers, at the 10th annual Bannerman Competition Lecture in Sydney today and follow submissions by the ACCC calling for a fit for purpose merger regime to better identify and prevent anti-competitive transactions.

The new laws are set to come into force on 1 January 2026, subject to the passage of legislation through the Australian Parliament.

“We welcome the Treasurer’s announcement today that the government will move to strengthen Australia’s merger laws, which will benefit Australian consumers and businesses of all sizes, as well as the wider economy,” ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.

“Higher prices, less choice and less innovation can result from weakened competition. Stronger merger laws are critical to ensure anti-competitive mergers do not proceed.”

“These proposed changes are significant and will reinforce public confidence in Australia’s competition laws,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb said

Currently Australia’s merger regime does not require merger parties to notify the ACCC of proposed acquisitions or to wait for ACCC clearance before proceeding.

The proposed reforms include introducing a mandatory notification requirement for merger deals above certain thresholds, and a prohibition on merger transactions proceeding without receiving a determination from the ACCC or Tribunal.

The ACCC also welcomes the Treasurer’s announcement that merger laws will be updated to better deal with serial acquisitions, where a number of smaller transactions occur over time that result in serious harms to competition.

Above is a part of the ACCC media release (, 10/04/2024) on the new merger reforms. Included in the media release is the standard ‘Background’ and ‘Notes to the editor’ sections alongside a ‘Statement of expectations update’ and the nomination of Dr Philip Williams AM, a respected industrial organisation economist, for the position of ACCC Commissioner – pending state and territory confirmation.

The Treasury has also issued a Government Response on the ACCC’s merger reform announcement available here (