ACCC calls for tougher competition laws; Treasury Wines books $260 million writedown; Midday roundup

ACCC calls for tougher competition laws; Treasury Wines books $260 million writedown; Midday roundup

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has used its submission to the Harper Review of competition policy to call for tougher competition laws in Australia.

The competition watchdog said the introduction of an effects test would make the legal prohibition of companies misusing market power more effective, and price-signalling provisions designed to prohibit anti-competitive disclosure of information should be expended throughout the economy.

The ACCC has also called for amendments to provisions relating to cartels, authorisation and notification provisions, and amendments to assist small businesses to take advantage of opportunities to undertake collective bargaining and boycotts.

“The Harper Review provides an ideal opportunity to reinvigorate Australia’s competition culture,” said ACCC chairman Rod Sims.

Treasury Wines books $260 million writedown

Winemaker Treasury Wines will writedown up to $260 million for the current financial year as it looks to adopt a new business model for 2015, reports Business Spectator.

The winemaker, which last month knocked back a $3.05 billion takeover bid from private equity group KKR, said the non-cash brand and related asset-impairment charge was due in part to high prices paid for pre-merger acquisitions and global declines in market growth for wine.

The company will look to restructure its Australian business in the next financial year by splitting its luxury and masstige wines from its commercial wines. The company will also ramp up its consumer marketing efforts.

“We have already taken significant steps to reset consumer marketing investment, our cost base and business model, and over the coming year we must fully realise the benefits of these changes,” said chief executive Michael Clarke.

Shares down on open

Aussie shares have opened lower this morning, following Wall St’s lead

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 29.2 points to 5403.6 points at 12.12pm AEDT. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed 119.13 points lower, down 0.7% to 16818.1 points.

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