Competition law change to 'impact' Aussies

Competition law change to 'impact' Aussies

Australians will pay the price for a change to competition laws, Labor has warned parliament.

The federal government is pushing for a so-called "effects test", meaning a small business will no longer have to prove a bigger rival is deliberately trying to force it out of business - only that it has been affected by its presence.

"This will be one which impacts on the cost of living for Australians by putting upward pressure on prices," shadow treasurer Chris Bowen told MPs on Monday during debate on the legislation.

The legislation was further criticised by one of the government's own backbenchers.

Craig Kelly told parliament he had concerns with the proposed changes, even though many in the small business community support them.

He believes the bill will make it harder to prove any breaches of competition law.

"It will be a number of years until the courts determine the effect of this legislation and I hope that I am wrong," Mr Kelly said.

He won't, however, vote against the legislation because it was taken to the last election and supported by his electorate.