Consumers

2018 compliance & enforcement priorities

In his annual CEDA address, Chairman Rod Sims launched the ACCC's 2018 Compliance and Enforcement policy. This year, the ACCC will focus on consumer issues in broadband services and energy, competition in the financial services and commercial construction sectors, systemic consumer guarantee issues, and conduct that may contravene the new misuse of market power and concerted practices provisions.

ACCC proposes to re-authorise Qantas Emirates alliance

The ACCC is proposing to grant re-authorisation to an alliance between Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) and Emirates for a further five years.

The global alliance covers Qantas’ and Emirates’ air passenger and cargo transport operations. The ACCC first authorised the alliance in 2013 for five years.

“The ACCC considers that the alliance is likely to continue to result in a range of public benefits,” ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston said.

ACCC allows Jetstar's Asian brands to coordinate

The ACCC has decided to re-authorise the continued coordination of three Qantas (ASX: QAN) Asian-based joint ventures: Jetstar Asia, Jetstar Pacific and Jetstar Japan.

The Jetstar joint venture airlines are also seeking to coordinate with their shareholding airlines Qantas, Japan Airlines and Vietnam Airlines, on passenger and cargo services within Asia.

The decision continues an ACCC authorisation made in 2013.

ACCCount 1 October to 31 December 2017

ACCCount details the ACCC's activities in the enforcement of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, merger reviews, compliance actions, adjudication issues, economic regulation and international involvement.

Criminal cartel proceedings commenced against Country Care and its managers

Following an investigation by the ACCC, criminal charges have been laid against The Country Care Group Pty Ltd (Country Care), its Managing Director, Robert Hogan, and a former employee, Cameron Harrison. 

The charges relate to alleged cartel conduct involving assistive technology products used in rehabilitation and aged care, including beds and mattresses, wheelchairs and walking frames. 

Country Care is based in Mildura, Victoria.

The charges are listed for mention before the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria in Mildura on 14 March 2018.

Hyundai to improve consumer guarantees approach

The ACCC has today accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Hyundai to improve its compliance with consumer guarantee obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). 

Customers have automatic rights under the ACL, regardless of whether a problem with a new car is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, and may in fact be entitled to a better remedy under the consumer guarantees than a warranty.

Former Advanced Medical Institute director declared bankrupt

A former director of AMI and NRM, Mr Jacov Vaisman, was declared bankrupt yesterday with the Federal Court granting the ACCC’s application for a sequestration order.

The Court‘s order follows Mr Vaisman’s failure to pay the ACCC’s costs amounting to $3,679,359.00 in proceedings brought by the ACCC against AMI and then NRM. The Court also ordered the ACCC’s costs be taxed and paid from Mr Vaisman’s estate.

Peter Foster declared bankrupt

The Federal Court declared Peter Foster bankrupt last week, granting the ACCC’s application for a sequestration order after he failed to pay costs in the SensaSlim matter.

“The ACCC took this action because we are committed to enforcing compliance with court orders made against individuals and companies for breaching consumer law,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.