About The Tribunal

The Australian Competition Tribunal was established under the Trade Practices Act 1965 (Cth) and continues under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) ("the Act"). Prior to 6 November 1995, the Tribunal was known as the Trade Practices Tribunal.

The Tribunal consists of a President, a number of Deputy Presidents and other members as appointed by the Governor‑General. A presidential member must be a judge of the Federal Court of Australia. Other members must have knowledge of or experience in industry, commerce, economics, law or public administration. For the purpose of hearing and determining proceedings, the Tribunal is constituted by a presidential member and two non‑presidential members.

The Tribunal has no physical resources of its own. The funds appropriated by Parliament for the purposes of the Tribunal are managed by the Federal Court of Australia. Registry services and administrative support for the Tribunal are provided by staff of the Tribunal and the Federal Court. Tribunal applications can be lodged in any registry of the Federal Court.

The Tribunal is a review body. A review by the Tribunal is a re‑hearing or a re‑consideration of a matter (albeit on limited material for some reviews). The Tribunal may perform all the functions and exercise all the powers of the original decision‑maker for the purposes of review. It can affirm, set aside or vary the original decision.

The Tribunal hears applications for review of determinations of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ("the Commission") granting or revoking authorisations. Authorisations are granted by the Commission permitting conduct and arrangements to be carried on that would otherwise be prohibited under the Act because of their anti‑competitive effect.

In relation to company mergers and acquisitions the Tribunal has a two‑fold role. It hears applications for review of determinations of the Commission granting or refusing clearances for company mergers and acquisitions. It also hears applications for authorisation of company mergers and acquisitions which would otherwise be prohibited under the Act.

The Tribunal hears applications for review of certain decisions of the Minister or the Commission in access matters. The Act establishes a legislative regime to facilitate third party access to the services of certain essential facilities of national significance, such as electricity grids, natural gas pipelines or telecommunications services.

The Tribunal also hears applications for review of certain determinations of the Commission in relation to notices given by the Commission under s 93 of the Act regarding exclusive dealing.

The Tribunal also has power to inquire into and report to the Minister on whether a non‑conference ocean carrier has a substantial degree of market power on a trade route.