ACCC accepts undertaking from rural business
An Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigation into a market sharing allegation in Smoky Bay on the west coast of South Australia has resulted in Baldwin's Tractor and Truck Wreckers Pty Ltd providing a court-enforceable undertaking.
The conduct involved Baldwin's attempting to induce a competitor to provide Tia Tuckia Association Inc., an Aboriginal homeland community, with an inflated quote for repairs to a back hoe because Baldwin's had already quoted for the job and did not want to be undercut. The competitor refused to enter into the arrangement.
As a result of the investigation Baldwin's admitted that its conduct breached s.45 of the Trade Practices Act 1974. It has given the ACCC a section 87B court-enforceable undertaking that it will:
- never engage in this type of conduct again;
- perform 65 hours of free labour for Tia Tuckia;
- pay the ACCC's investigation costs; apologise, in writing, to Tia Tuckia and to ATSIC; and
- publish an apology in The Koori Mail, a publication circulated nationally among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.
"While the ACCC recognises that Baldwin's is a small business in a small rural community, its conduct is a serious breach of the Trade Practices Act," ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today. "If it had been successful, it would have financially disadvantaged the local Aboriginal community. The matter should serve as a warning to small and rural firms that all businesses must comply with the Act."