Market study powers herald better outcomes for consumers, honest business

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi has welcomed the passing of the Bill enabling market studies, advising the first market study could be confirmed by Christmas as the Government moves to protect consumers and promote business.

The legislation enables the Commerce Commission to assess whether markets are working effectively, and compels businesses to provide information.

“This is part of the Government’s agenda to build a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy,” says Mr Faafoi, “and to ensure everyday New Zealanders are getting a fair deal.

“It’s also about ensuring honest businesses are able to thrive: the market studies function is an important new feature of New Zealand’s competition regime. Market studies can identify factors preventing, restricting or distorting competition and reducing consumer welfare in markets subject to the studies.”

As a result of a market study, the Government can receive in-depth research and advice on what is needed to ensure New Zealand consumers get affordable products and services.

“Simply, we need New Zealand to be a place where consumers are getting a fair deal and where business are also competing on a level playing field. In order to make good progress because this is important and I know consumers are feeling the pinch in a number of areas – I have written to my colleagues across Government as to which markets needed market study, and I’ll be looking to quickly consider their responses.

“I hope to be able to make an announcement on the first market study in December.”

In addition to authorising market studies, the Bill strengthens the regulatory regime to better protect users of airport services from the exercise of market power by airport companies. It also ensures the Commerce Commission has the tools it needs to promote competition and protect consumers.

Further information about the Bill is available here.