On 27 February 2013, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) entered into a Co-operation Agreement, allowing the NZCC to share compulsorily-acquired information with, and provide investigative assistance to, the ACCC. The purpose of the agreement is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of investigations conducted by the ACCC in respect of Australian competition and consumer laws.
At a joint seminar in Wellington, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims stated that the recent agreement between the regulators meant that there was now the “most complete set of cooperation arrangements in place globally”, assisting regulators to work together effectively in circumstances where cross-border enforcement agencies have not been established.
Mr Sims highlighted that the agreement between the ACCC and the NZCC has come at a time when protection for Australian consumers has been significantly increased, by the introduction of the Australian Consumer Law in 2010, which has placed the ACCC in the most favourable position possible to do its job effectively. The agreement between the ACCC and the NZCC further strengthens this position for the ACCC.