The Commerce Amendment Act 2022 has changed the rules of the game when it comes to the misuse of market power in the New Zealand economy. From April 2023, firms with substantial market power may not act in a way that substantially lessens competition in their market or in a related market. They also cannot substantially lessen competition by refusing to act – an important consideration for vertically integrated firms who may be asked to supply their downstream competitors.
Participants in the New Zealand wholesale electricity markets should be alert to the changes in the regime. In this report for Octopus Energy, TDB Advisory and barrister Ben Hamlin take a deep dive into the possible implications of the changes to section 36 of the Act for the electricity market in New Zealand.
The report reviews the changes to s36; considers the extent to which generators have market power in the wholesale electricity spot and derivatives markets and considers three types of market behaviour that might have been permissible under the previous regime but which may well be found to be illegal under the new s36 of the Commerce Act: refusal to supply; price squeezing; and raising a rivals costs. Find out the details in the full report, or tune into the conversation in a recent webinar with independent journalist, Bernard Hickey.
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