ACCC commences proceedings against StoresOnline for alleged breaches of s.87B undertakings

5 October 2007

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today commenced legal proceedings against StoresOnline International Inc and StoresOnline Inc (collectively StoresOnline).

StoresOnline provided the ACCC with an undertaking under section 87B of the Trade Practices Act 1974 on 24 April 2006 following court action commenced by the ACCC on 1 June 2005.  In that case, the ACCC alleged that StoresOnline had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in the promotion and sale of its home business e-commerce software packages.

From early October 2006, following the settlement of the earlier proceedings, StoresOnline returned to Australia to run further presentations. In the present proceedings, the ACCC alleges that StoresOnline contravened the s.87B undertaking in various ways and on numerous occasions during the course of those further presentations.

In an ex-parte hearing today, Justice Tamberlin of the Federal Court made various orders regarding service of the proceedings upon the two StoresOnline companies, both of which are located in the United States. One of the orders sought by the ACCC in the present proceedings is an interlocutory injunction restraining StoresOnline from conducting further presentations to sell and promote their home business e-commence software packages until the proceeding has been determined on a final basis. The need for this order and the urgent nature of the proceedings generally arises as a result of advice received by the ACCC from StoresOnline that they are returning to Australia from 15 October 2007 to conduct further presentations.

Apart from the interlocutory injunction referred to above, the ACCC is also seeking the following:

  • declarations that StoresOnline has contravened s87B of the Act
  • a range of injunctions to ensure that the s.87B undertaking is complied with in the future
  • an order that StoresOnline pay to the Commonwealth an amount up to the amount of any financial benefit which it has obtained, directly or indirectly, which is attributable to the alleged breaches of the s.87B undertaking
  • an order directing StoresOnline to compensate any other person who has suffered loss or damage as a result of the breach of the s.87B undertaking.

The matter has been listed for a directions hearing before Justice Tamberlin in the Federal Court, Sydney, on Tuesday, 9 October 2007.

Release number: 
MR 270/07
ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.