The ACCC is currently prioritising anti-competitive conduct in commercial construction markets and has established a Commercial Construction Unit (CCU) focussed on the construction sector.
The CCU is a specialist team that has been set up to investigate allegations of anti-competitive conduct in the commercial construction sector. The focus is on the behaviour of participants in the construction industry that may raise competition concerns under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).
Effective competition in the construction sector will deliver fairness to all businesses. It is important that all businesses can vigorously compete for work on their merits, are not subject to unfair contract terms, or the unconscionable or coercive conduct of others.
See also: Commercial construction unit (publication)
Our anonymous reporting tool allows you to provide a tip-off, make a complaint or engage in a two-way online conversation directly with a CCU investigator.
The form will require you to provide some information about who the report relates to and a brief description of the conduct. Not all fields are required, but the more information you give us, the more likely it is that we will be able to act on your complaint.
You will be prompted to create an anonymous login (password only) so that you can communicate with CCU staff about your report anonymously and in confidence, and we can ask you further questions if required.
Anonymously report a construction sector issue
Several areas of the ACCC’s work have direct impact on construction businesses.
The ACCC’s role in the commercial building and construction industry is to detect, investigate and stop anti-competitive behaviour including:
- serious cartel conduct (including bid rigging, market sharing and price fixing)
- secondary boycotts
- exclusive dealing
- agreements or concerted practices which substantially lessen competition
- misuse of market power (including predatory pricing).
Australian Consumer Law provisions
Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), the ACCC also has a role in protecting individuals and businesses from unfair, unconscionable or coercive behaviour.
Unfair contract terms
Small businesses are protected from unfair contract terms in standard form contracts. The law applies if at least one of the parties is a small business (employs less than 20 people) and the upfront price payable under the contract is no more than $300 000 or $1 million if the contract is for more than 12 months.
The ACL prohibits businesses from engaging in ‘unconscionable conduct’ in their dealings with consumers and other businesses.
The ACL provides that a person must not use physical force, undue harassment or coercion in connection with the supply of goods and services. Coercion involves force or compulsion or threats of force or compulsion negating choice or freedom to act.
The ACCC immunity and cooperation policy for cartel conduct sets out our policy in relation to applications for immunity from proceedings by those involved in cartel conduct, and how cooperation provided to the ACCC by cartel participants will be recognised.
If you believe you may be involved in a cartel, be the first to apply for immunity from prosecution in exchange for helping us with our investigations, by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org
Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Building and Construction Commission
PDF 4.45 MB
Agreement to Extend Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Building and Construction Commission
PDF 129.36 KB
Contact the CCU at email@example.com or through our Infocentre.
ACCC takes action over alleged attempted cartel for National Gallery of Australia tender
Court action against Hutchinson and CFMMEU over alleged boycott
UGL to restore shorter payment terms for small business suppliers
Sydney hailstorm described as ‘perfect opportunity’ to increase prices
CFMEU to pay $1m in penalties for secondary boycott
Court lifts suppression orders in ACCC's CFMEU case
Criminal cartel charges laid against CFMMEU and its ACT branch secretary