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Legislation passed by the parliament will give small businesses around Australia more teeth in their fight to stave off larger competitors.

The Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams has been advocating on behalf of the small business sector for years to amend Section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to ensure a level playing field.

Senator Williams said under Section 46 it had to be proven that corporations with substantial market power took advantage of its size with the ‘purpose’ of damaging a smaller competitor.

This was highly difficult to prosecute and did not adequately address the question of misuse of market power, a fact noted in the 2014

Harper review.

He said by amending Section 46 and adding the word ‘effect” it will be easier to prove if a corporation with substantial market power engages in conduct that has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition.

Senator Williams said if a large business sells at a ridiculously low price in order to send its competitor (usually a small business) broke, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the courts can now take action.

”It is tough enough for small business with changing shopping trends and the continued popularity of online shopping without being buried by the large players.

I hope the changes to the legislation gives the millions of small businesses and the 5.6 million people they employ confidence for the future”, Senator Williams said.

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