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Volume XI, Number 126


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COVID-19: (Australia) August 2020 Update to The Guide to ACCC Approvals on Industry Collaboration

Our policy and regulatory team has updated our guide to industry collaboration approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find additional information in our Insight here


  • Industry collaborations that involve restrictions on supply of goods or services are likely to be per se illegal under Australian competition law. However, businesses can seek to self-assess legal risks under the joint venture exception to cartel conduct or seek to have proposed cartel conduct authorised (approved) by the ACCC.

  • Following the grant of 25 interim authorisations in March and April 2020, the ACCC has now granted 12 final authorisations and issued 12 draft determinations (with interim authorisations continuing to be in place). 

  • This article builds on our initial insight dated 3 April and provides a comprehensive overview of the scope of the collaborative conduct approved and conditions imposed.

  • We are ready to assist businesses at short notice to either join an existing ACCC authorisation, make a submission about an application, or, if you consider that you need to collaborate with competitors due to the difficulties COVID-19 has created, to assist with preparing an application for authorisation. 

Copyright 2021 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 231



About this Author

Ayman Guirguis, KL Gates, Australian Competition Lawyer, Consumer Commission attorney

Mr. Guirguis advises clients on all aspects of antitrust/competition law as well as consumer law.

He has a wealth of experience advising clients on merger clearance, joint ventures and on supply chain arrangements between suppliers and customers.

Mr. Guirguis regularly advises on, and responds to, regulatory investigations by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleging cartel conduct (price fixing, market sharing or bid rigging), including making immunity and leniency applications, competitor...

David Howarth, IP lawyer, KLGates
Special Counsel

Mr. Howarth is a competition and consumer lawyer with more than twenty years' experience in private practice and government. 

He has experience advising on contentious and non-contentious matters, regulatory proceedings and in responding to investigations across a range of industries, particularly the telecommunications, aviation, IT, finance and retail sectors. 

Mr. Howarth has occupied senior roles in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, where he led complex investigations and litigation under the consumer and competition provisions of the Australian law. His...

Mei Gong Lawyer Sydney Antitrust, Competition & Trade Regulation

Ms. Gong advises clients on all aspects of competition law and consumer law.

Ms. Gong adopts a proactive, focused and client oriented approach to her work. She is passionate about achieving optimal and timely commercial outcomes for clients and assisting them with navigating regulatory barriers, and in particular, matters involving the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Ms. Gong has experience advising clients on:

  • merger clearance

  • cartel investigations

  • authorisations

  • consumer guarantees...