ACCC Chairman to pursue misuse of market power

25 October 2011

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims has signalled the Commission’s intention to actively pursue cases regarding the misuse of market power and unconscionable conduct.
 
Speaking in Melbourne to the Law Institute of Victoria, Mr Sims addressed unconscionable conduct, which is covered by section 21 and 22 of the Australian Consumer Law, which is part of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

“The unconscionable conduct provisions are an important part of both the consumer protection and fair trading provisions of the Australian Consumer Law,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“I am interested in exploring their potential application to a broader range of circumstances”

“Although there is no clear definition of unconscionable conduct, conduct that goes beyond robust commercial dealings or shows no regard for what is right and reasonable falls squarely within the responsibility of the ACCC.”

Mr Sims also highlighted misuse of market power for an anti-competitive purpose under section 46 of the Act as an area where the competition regulator intends to clarify the legal situation.

“The ACCC now believes that it is time to resolve the unanswered questions surrounding section 46. Recent amendments to the Act and likely future court actions are providing guidance on how to successfully prosecute companies that misuse their market power,” Mr Sims said.

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Release number: 
NR 197/11
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