Areeda-Turner 'Down Under': Predatory Pricing in Australia Before and after Boral
17 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 29, 2015
In the only predatory pricing case in Australia to reach the High Court, the ideas and recommendations contained in the 1975 Harvard law Review article by Phillip Areeda and Donald Turner were at the heart of the case. That case, the Boral case, decided by the High Court in 2003, raised a number of interesting issues regarding whether and how the test proposed by Areeda and Turner should be employed to deal with price cuts by large firms aimed at competitors. Equally importantly, the case raised some fundamental questions about whether there was a serious “gap” in the Australian equivalent of Section 2 of the Sherman Act - Section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, formerly the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA) - which made it difficult to challenge predatory conduct. Boral led immediately to some radical changes in the TPA but, even today, more than 10 years after Boral, Australians are still struggling to come up with the right statutory framework to deal with predatory pricing. This paper will describe the Boral case, discuss how the Australian courts, including the High Court, attempted to apply the A-T test to the facts of the case, and survey and comment on the ongoing legislative turmoil brought about by High Court’s decision.
Keywords: Predatory pricing, consumers, Australia, trade, competition, anti-trust
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