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Rethinking Green Antitrust: The Double-edged Opportunities and Barriers in Pursuit of a Circular Australian Economy


Jignesh Tanwar

In response to a lack of government action on environmental issues and amidst a worsening climate crisis, scholars have called for the implementation of ‘green antitrust’. However, green antitrust faces criticism where many oppose the concept on grounds that non-economic goals and competition law do not mix. The aim of this article is to critically analyse and explore the opportunities and barriers associated with green antitrust and how the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) could assist. By utilising the authorisation process used by ACCC as a vehicle for analysis, this article draws on different views and perspectives from competition literature. A recommendation is proposed to exclude the ‘public’ criterion from the public benefit test as this is unduly cautious and poses challenges when arguing for efficiencies. The article is a call for an update to our thinking, to view competition law not as an end in itself, rather as a means to an end. If the end goal is a more sustainable and circular Australian economy, than competition law could assist.

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