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If the intentions of the Federal Government are carried into effect, the Commonwealth of Australia will shortly have new legislation designed to strengthen the competitive nature of the economy. Although there have been previous federal Acts, and experiments at the State level, the possibility of a new Act will bring into issue the basic assumptions involved in legislation intended to stimulate competition. The earlier federal Acts strongly reflected the influence of the American Sherman Act, which is traditionally categorized as comprehensive in its provisions since it purported to strike down all contracts in restraint of trade and all attempts a~ monopolization. Contrasted with this, the most recent legislation in the United Kingdom has been selective in its approach. Only in isolated instances has behaviour been forbidden outright, and the problem has been approached primarily through registration of the allegedly anti-competitive practices, coupled with an investigation into their individual desirability.

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