The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking feedback from farmers on new guidelines aiming to assist understanding the processes behind collective bargaining and boycotts.

Collective bargaining is an arrangement where two or more competitors come together to negotiate with a supplier or a customer. A collective boycott occurs when a group of competitors agree not to acquire goods or services from, or not to supply goods or services to, a business with whom the group is negotiating, unless the business accepts the terms and conditions offered by the group.

While these would usually be at risk of breaching the law, in some circumstances allowing collective arrangements may be in the public interest. The ACCC’s guidelines provide information on how the ACCC can allow protection from legal action when there are public benefits that would outweigh the detriments to competition.

For more information on the ACCC’s call for comment, please see here.