Regulation of wholesale mobile voice services should continue

Australia’s domestic Mobile Terminating Access Service (MTAS) for voice services should be regulated for a further five years, the ACCC has proposed in a draft report released for consultation today.

The ACCC is also proposing that regulation of the MTAS for SMS services not continue, due to increased competition from messaging services like iMessage and WhatsApp.

ACCC reviews first merger authorisation application

The ACCC has started to assess an application lodged by AP Eagers Limited for authorisation to acquire Automotive Holdings Group Limited.

“AP Eagers’ application is the first merger authorisation considered by the ACCC since reforms in 2017 restored the ACCC’s ability to consider applications for merger authorisation. Under the new process, the application comes to the ACCC first rather than the Australian Competition Tribunal,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

Targeting scams: report of the ACCC on scam activity 2018

This report explains key trends in scam activity and highlights the impact of scams on the community.

ACCC and FBI sign inter-agency cooperation agreement

A new Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the ACCC and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will strengthen the agencies’ joint efforts in combating cartels and other anti-competitive behaviour.

The MOC provides for the exchange of expertise and staff between the two agencies to enhance work in the detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal competition offences.

Mortgage broking disciplinary rules granted interim authorisation

The ACCC has granted interim authorisation to allow the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), the peak national body for mortgage and finance brokers, to continue to administer disciplinary rules enforcing its Code of Practice.

The interim authorisation will give the MFAA time to review its Code of Practice in line with recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Financial Services Royal Commission), several of which relate to the mortgage broking sector.

Charges laid against alleged forex price fixing cartel

Criminal cartel charges have been laid against a money transfer business and five individuals for allegedly fixing the Australian dollar / Vietnamese dong exchange rate and fees they charged their customers.

The charges arose from a joint ACCC and Australian Federal Police investigation into alleged price fixing by several Sydney and Melbourne money transfer businesses. The charges relate to exchange rates and transaction fees charged when sending money from Australia to Vietnam between 2011 and 2016.

NBN affordability a growing issue

The cost of basic NBN plans is becoming an affordability issue for people on lower incomes, with the plans now more expensive than what most consumers pay for equivalent ADSL plans, ACCC Chair Rod Sims told the CommsDay Summit in Sydney this afternoon.

For around $50 per month a customer could, and still can, get an ADSL internet and voice plan with a 100 gigabyte (GB) quota, or pay $60 for an unlimited quota plan.

DP World, Hutchison Ports and VICT remove likely unfair contract terms

Three container stevedore companies have amended their contracts with land transport businesses after the ACCC raised concerns that certain terms in each of these agreements may be unfair contract terms.  

DP World Australia, Hutchison Ports Australia and Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) agreed, after the ACCC’s intervention, to remove or amend terms in their standard form contracts that the ACCC considered were likely to be considered “unfair” within the meaning of the Australian Consumer Law.