Business

ACCCount 1 April to 30 June 2018

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.

High Court refuses leave for electrical cable cartel appeal

The High Court has dismissed a special leave application by electrical cable manufacturer Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi S.R.L. (Prysmian), following a decision of the Full Federal Court that upheld the trial judge’s finding that the company had engaged in cartel conduct in the supply of high voltage land cables.

Prysmian is a major international cable manufacturer supplying the energy and telecommunications sectors.

The company had sought special leave to appeal against a decision handed down by the Full Federal Court in March 2018.

Almost two million deadly Takata airbags still in Australian cars

The ACCC has released comprehensive state-by-state data detailing recall rates for deadly Takata airbags, and the first data detailing progress made by various vehicle manufacturers in removing them from Australian cars.

The ACCC says one year since the ACCC started overseeing the Takata airbag recall,
1.8 million potentially deadly airbags still need replacing as part of a compulsory recall that will run until 2020.

Over the past 12 months, 1.1 million faulty Takata airbags have been replaced in around 930,000 vehicles.

Companies behaving badly?

ACCC Chair Rod Sims delivered the Giblin Lecture in Tasmania today, and shared his observations on company behaviour that drives breaches of Australia’s competition and consumer laws.

“Few companies behave badly often, but rather many engage in occasional significant instances of bad behaviour, which remains unacceptable.”

“It is often said that companies succeed by looking after the needs of their customers. I have been surprised over very many years, however, at the way in which many businesses often do precisely the opposite.”

When and how to intervene in markets

In a speech to the Australian Conference of Economists in Canberra today, Chair Rod Sims discussed the ACCC’s approach to market intervention in our current inquiries.

“Enhancing competition does not mean protecting all market participants from failure, nor does consumer protection extend to shielding consumers from price increases set by the markets.”

ACCC releases blueprint to reduce electricity prices

The ACCC’s recommendations to significantly improve electricity affordability for Australian consumers and businesses are outlined in its final Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry report, released today.

The Inquiry, which commenced in March 2017, began by identifying the root causes of high electricity prices across the entire electricity supply chain, and has now made 56 recommendations detailing ways to fix the National Electricity Market.

Country of origin food labelling surveillance to commence

After 1 July, Australian consumers will have much greater certainty about the origins of the food they buy, due to the introduction of mandatory Country of Origin food labelling. The ACCC will conduct market surveillance checks on 10,000 food products to ensure businesses are correctly displaying the new labels.

All businesses–including manufacturers, processors and importers that offer food for retail sale in Australia–will need to comply with the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard, which specifies how claims can be made about the origin of food products.