High Court refuses special leave in ACCC - ACN

5 June 2006

The High Court has refused the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission special leave to appeal the judgment of the Full Federal Court, in relation to a marketing system operated by Australian Communications Network Pty Ltd.

The High Court refused leave on the grounds that there were insufficient prospects of success. 

On 15 November 2004, the ACCC instituted proceedings against ACN, a seller of telecommunications services, for alleged breaches of the pyramid selling scheme provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974. The proceedings concerned the ACN scheme in operation as at the commencement of proceedings whereby people paid a fee of $499 plus GST to participate in the marketing system.

On 23 March 2005, the late Justice Selway found that ACN participated in, promoted and induced or attempted to induce persons to take part in a pyramid selling scheme in contravention of section 65AAC of the Act, and that Mr Martin Paech, an ACN director, aided and abetted and was knowingly concerned in those contraventions.

On 20 July 2005 Justice Mansfield made a number of orders, including declarations and injunctions, and orders relating to corrective action.

ACN subsequently appealed Justice Selway's decision and on 25 October 2005 the Full Federal Court allowed the appeal, ordered that the declarations and orders be set aside and that the ACCC pay ACN's costs.

On 21 November 2005 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission filed an application for special leave. This leave was refused on Friday (2 June 2006).

Release number: 
MR 123/06
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