Media

Empowering consumers against companies

The ACCC will continue to give a voice to consumers and push companies to live up to their responsibilities, ACCC Chair Rod Sims told the West Australian Australian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Perth today.

“Our enforcement team here in Perth, for example, has taken a lead role in important areas in the last few years, including franchising matters and unfair contract terms impacting small business, as well as taking part in a number of high profile investigations,” Mr Sims said.

Cases spearheaded by the WA team include:

Gas inquiry July 2018 interim report

This is the fourth interim report of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) inquiry into gas supply arrangements in Australia. The ACCC has continued its focus on the operation of the East Coast Gas Market, where there are immediate and longer-term concerns.

Broadband speeds strong but improvements needed for some

The ACCC’s latest broadband speed data, released today, shows mainly pleasing, but some concerning, results. While most NBN fixed-line broadband customers are receiving relatively fast internet speeds, including during busy hours, which we strongly welcome, there is still an important number who are receiving poor service, including around 7% of consumers who receive less than half of the maximum speed of their plan.

One Big Switch pays penalties over electricity discount and savings claims

Revtech Media, the company behind group-discount website One Big Switch, has paid penalties of $25,200 after the ACCC issued two infringement notices for alleged false and misleading energy price representations.

Between July and November 2017, One Big Switch advertised a 27 per cent discount for consumers in south east Queensland who switched to Click Energy’s ‘Big Switch Up’ offer.

Beware investment wolves knocking at the door

Scamwatch is warning the Australian community to be wary about investment scams, with statistics revealing Australians are collectively losing $4.3 million a month to these scams.

In 2018, more than $26 million has been reported lost to investment scams—already 84 per cent of the total losses recorded in 2017. This represents an average month on month increase in losses of 117 per cent compared to last year.

ACCC proposes to authorise SA councils' waste collection tender

The ACCC is proposing to grant authorisation to Council Solutions and a group of four Adelaide councils to jointly procure kerbside waste collection services.

The four councils, Adelaide, Charles Sturt, Marion and Port Adelaide Enfield, are seeking authorisation to appoint a single provider to supply kerbside waste collection services to residents in their municipalities.

ACCC takes action against Pacific National and Aurizon

The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Pacific National and Aurizon (ASX: AZJ), and their related entities, for allegedly reaching an understanding in relation to Aurizon’s intermodal business that had the purpose and/or would be likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in the supply of intermodal and steel rail linehaul services.

ACCC extends timeline for WestConnex review

The ACCC has delayed the decision date for its review of Sydney Transport Partners’ proposed acquisition of a majority interest in the WestConnex project. Sydney Transport Partners is a consortium led by Transurban Limited (ASX: TCL).

The decision date for this review was 19 July 2018 and this has been delayed to 6 September 2018 to allow the ACCC sufficient time to consider the competition issues relating to the proposed acquisition.

ACCC institutes proceedings against Cryosite for alleged cartel conduct

The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Cryosite Limited for alleged cartel conduct in relation to its entry into an asset sale agreement with Cell Care Australia Pty Ltd (Cell Care).

In June 2017 Cryosite signed an agreement to sell its assets in its cord blood and tissue banking business to Cell Care. On signing the agreement, Cell Care made an upfront, non-refundable payment of $500,000 to Cryosite.