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) (Act). The Tribunal was previously 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 (Court). 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 Court. Registry services and administrative support for the Tribunal are provided by staff of the Tribunal and the Court. Tribunal applications can be filed in any registry of the Court (although the Tribunal prefers to receive documents in electronic form).

The Tribunal is a review body. A review by the Tribunal is a re-hearing or a re-consideration of a matter. 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 has jurisdiction under the Act to hear a variety of applications, most notably reviews of determinations of:

  • the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Commission) granting or refusing authorisation for company mergers and acquisitions;
  • the Commission granting or revoking authorisations permitting conduct and arrangements that would otherwise be prohibited under the Act because of their anti-competitive effect;
  • the relevant Minister or the Commission in relation to third party access to essential facilities of national significance, such as telecommunications services;
  • the Commission in relation to notices given under s 93 of the Act concerning exclusive dealing; and
  • the Minister or the Commission in relation to international liner cargo shipping.