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.
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.
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.
On 26 February 2018 the ACCC released an issues paper seeking feedback on issues relevant to its Digital Platforms Inquiry.
The Federal Court has ordered the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union (CFMEU) to pay $1 million in penalties for secondary boycotts against Boral and Alsafe at construction sites in Hawthorn and Richmond, Victoria.
The court ruled that the CFMEU contravened section 45D(1) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) by engaging in conduct in concert with a shop steward at both sites which hindered or prevented the acquisition of concrete from Boral and its subsidiary Alsafe for the purpose of causing substantial loss or damage to Boral’s business.
The ACCC has released its eighth quarterly National Broadband Network Wholesale Market Indicators Report for the period ending 31 December 2017.
The report highlights a significant increase in Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) acquired, from 1.11 megabits per second (Mbps) to 1.52 Mbps per user since the September 2017 quarter, an increase of 37 per cent.
Almost 5,000 small businesses contacted the ACCC in the second half of 2017, up from 3,700 in the preceding six months, according to the latest edition of the Small business in focus released today.
“Alleged misleading conduct, false representations and consumer guarantees remained the top issues reported to the ACCC by business last year,” ACCC Acting Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.
The ACCC has today announced that it will not oppose EnergyAustralia’s proposed acquisition of Ecogen Energy.
Ecogen Energy owns two gas-fired electricity generators, Newport and Jeeralang, in Victoria. EnergyAustralia is an integrated energy generator and retailer primarily operating in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT.
The ACCC has granted authorisation to the South Australian Baiada Growers Group (the Growers Group) to collectively bargain the terms and conditions of chicken grower contracts with chicken meat processor, Baiada Poultry Pty Ltd (Baiada).
The Growers Group represents all chicken growers currently contracted to Baiada in South Australia. Most of the 20 broiler chicken farmer members are small businesses. Authorisation is granted for ten years.
Participation in collective bargaining is voluntary for members of the Growers Group, and for Baiada.