Media

Air NZ penalised $15 million for price fixing

The Federal Court has ordered Air New Zealand (Air NZ) to pay $15 million in penalties after legal action by the ACCC against a global air cargo cartel.

The Court found Air NZ made and gave effect to agreements with other airlines to fix the price of fuel and insurance surcharges on air freight services from Hong Kong, and insurance and security charges from Singapore, to various locations, including Australian airports, between 2002 and 2007.

Action against Mitolo for alleged unfair contract terms

The ACCC has instituted proceedings against Mitolo Group Pty Ltd and a related entity (together, Mitolo) alleging that several terms in Mitolo’s standard form contracts with potato farmers are unfair contract terms, and that Mitolo has breached the Horticulture Code in its dealings with farmers.

“This is the first court action the ACCC has taken under the newly introduced Horticulture Code and our first unfair contract terms action in the agriculture industry,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.

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.

ACCC calls for simpler, more transparent health insurance

Frustration with complex private health insurance policies and unexpected out-of-pocket costs is leading to increased complaints and even some people abandoning their hospital policies.

The ACCC has today released its annual report into the private health insurance industry, calling for the industry to make its products more consumer friendly by providing reliable and transparent information about product features and changes to private health insurance policies.

Fifty Australians a week injured by toppling furniture and televisions

An estimated 2,600 Australians receive hospital treatment for injuries caused by toppling furniture and televisions each year, equating to approximately 50 people per week.

Since 2001 at least 22 children under the age of 9 have died in Australia from toppling furniture or televisions, with children under 3 years of age at greatest risk. 

Private health insurance report 2016-17

This report analyses key competition and consumer developments and trends in the private health insurance industry between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017, including ACCC enforcement and other actions relating to the health sector.

Threat and kidnap scams target Chinese community

The ACCC’s Scamwatch service is warning the Chinese community in Australia to be wary about two frightening scams targeting them that involve threats of arrest, and extortion via fake kidnappings.

In 2018, Scamwatch has received nearly 1700 reports about these scams, with losses totalling $1.15 million. Losses have come from NSW, Victoria, Queensland or Western Australia; however the scam is targeting people nationwide.

Domain Name Corp and Domain Name Agency to pay $1.95 million in penalties

The Federal Court has ordered that Domain Corp Pty Ltd and Domain Name Agency Pty Ltd (also trading as Domain Name Register) pay combined penalties of $1.95 million for breaching the Australian Consumer Law.

From November 2015 to at least April 2017, the two Domain Companies sent out approximately 300,000 unsolicited notices to businesses, which looked like a renewal invoice for the business’s existing domain name. Instead, these notices were for the registration of a new domain name at a cost ranging from $249 to $275.

Irrigation sector largely stable in 2016-17, but challenges ahead

The ACCC’s eighth Water Monitoring Report, published today, found 2016-17 was a largely stable period for most on-river and off-river infrastructure operators (IOs) within the Murray-Darling Basin.

Good water availability and favourable seasonal conditions across much of the Murray-Darling Basin resulted in increased water deliveries: up 27 per cent for on-river IOs and 12 per cent for off-river IOs.