Dodo and iPrimus in court for alleged misleading broadband speed claims

The ACCC has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Dodo Services Pty Ltd (Dodo) and Primus Telecommunications Services Pty Ltd (iPrimus), both owned by Vocus Group (Vocus), alleging they made false or misleading claims about the NBN broadband speeds their customers could achieve during busy evening hours.

The ACCC alleges that, between March 2018 and April 2019, Dodo and iPrimus made false or misleading claims on their websites about the speeds consumers could expect if they signed up to their NBN broadband services.

Scams cost Australians over $630 million

Australians lost over $634 million to scams in 2019, according to the latest figures in the ACCC’s Targeting Scams report released today.

There were more than 353,000 combined reports to Scamwatch, other government agencies and the big four banks last year.

“Unfortunately it is another year with devastatingly high losses, and scammers are constantly finding new ways to defraud Australians,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Coal producers to be authorised to collectively negotiate with Port of Newcastle

The ACCC proposes to allow the NSW Minerals Council and ten coal producers to collectively negotiate the terms and conditions, including price, of access to the Port of Newcastle for the export of coal and other minerals.

Other mining companies will be able to join the collective negotiations with Port of Newcastle Operations (PNO) in the future.

Since December 2019, PNO has been negotiating with individual coal producers over a proposed 10 year agreement for access to the port.

ACCC to monitor competition in the domestic airline market

The ACCC welcomes today’s direction from the Australian Government to actively monitor and regularly report on the domestic air travel market, particularly in relation to its competitiveness.

The aviation industry globally has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and is a critical industry to Australia.

“A strong aviation industry is vital for Australian consumers and the economy more broadly, and for our way of life,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“We welcome this opportunity to help ensure competition in this market at this time.”

Fairer terms for wine grape growers but concerns remain about payment periods

Some of Australia’s biggest winemakers have agreed to change their supply agreements with grape growers after the ACCC raised concerns that the contracts contained terms which were likely to be unfair.

The ACCC contacted a number of large winemakers following its 2019 wine grape market study, which had highlighted that a number of winemakers were using standard form grape supply agreements which contained contract terms that appeared to be unfair.

Qantas offers refunds for flight cancellations

The ACCC says it is pleased Qantas has begun contacting its customers to tell them they are entitled to a refund for domestic or international flights cancelled or suspended due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The ACCC’s COVID-19 Taskforce raised concerns with the airline after receiving hundreds of complaints from passengers whose flights were suspended or cancelled due to travel restrictions, but who were given credits by Qantas instead of the refunds they were entitled to.

Targeting scams 2019: a review of scam activity since 2009

This report provides key findings into 2019 scams, as well as insights into scam trends over the decade.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen pleads guilty to criminal cartel conduct

Norwegian-based global shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean AS (WWO) has today entered a guilty plea in the Federal Court to criminal cartel conduct.

After an ACCC investigation, on 23 August 2019 the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) charged WWO with cartel conduct regarding the transportation of vehicles, including cars, trucks and buses, to Australia between June 2011 and July 2012.

Google’s purchase of Fitbit raises preliminary competition concerns

The ACCC has today outlined preliminary concerns with Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit, stating that Google’s access to consumer health data may raise entry barriers, further entrench its dominant position and adversely affect competition in several digital advertising and health markets.

Fitbit, a company that makes wearable devices, has collected health information from consumers for more than 10 years, including users’ daily step counts, heart rate and sleep data.