ACCCount 1 October to 31 December 2018

ACCCount details the ACCC's activities in the enforcement of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, merger reviews, compliance actions, adjudication issues, economic regulation and international involvement.

DLF Seeds’ acquisition of PGG Wrightson Seeds not opposed

The ACCC has decided that it will not oppose DLF Seeds’ proposed acquisition of PGG Wrightson Seeds.

DLF Seeds and PGG Wrightson Seeds are active in Australia in the production and supply of forage seeds, which are used for grazing livestock, and turf seeds.

“Following its investigation, the ACCC found that it is unlikely that the proposed acquisition will result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.

Cryosite to pay $1.05m for ‘gun jumping’ cartel conduct

The Federal Court has ordered Cryosite Limited to pay $1.05 million in penalties for engaging in cartel conduct in its asset sale agreement with Cell Care Australia Pty Ltd.

The Court held, by consent, that Cryosite engaged in cartel conduct when it signed an agreement in June 2017 to sell the assets of its private cord blood and tissue banking business to Cell Care with a clause requiring Cryosite to refer all customer enquiries to Cell Care before the sale was completed, and when it subsequently gave effect to that provision.

Don’t swipe right on a scammer this Valentine’s Day

Scamwatch is urging tech-savvy daters to be on the lookout for romance scammers this Valentine’s Day as data shows these scams are increasingly happening through social media and dating apps.

“Scammers tend to go where people are, and in the dating world that increasingly means on social media and dating apps,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Women are particularly at risk to losing money to romance scams with Scamwatch data showing they are four times more likely to report losing money compared to men.

Most NBN consumers now on higher speed plans

Almost 4.8 million Australians are now connected to the NBN, with more than half subscribed to higher speed plans of 50Mbps or more, according to the ACCC’s quarterly Wholesale Market Indicators Report, released today.

The report shows that NBN residential broadband connections across Australia rose by 6.8 per cent in the December quarter, up from 4.5 million at the end of the previous three months.

Higher speed services now represent 56 per cent of all NBN broadband connections, with almost 2.7 million subscribers on services of 50Mbps or above.

Court finds former car wash franchisor Geowash acted unconscionably

The ACCC has successfully prosecuted former hand car wash and detailing franchisor Geowash in the Federal Court for acting unconscionably, making false or misleading representations, and failing to act in good faith in breach of the Franchising Code of Conduct in relation to the sale and marketing of its franchises.

The ACCC began investigating Geowash in late 2015, and subsequently launched court proceedings. In a decision handed down on 8 February, the Court found that Geowash made false or misleading representations on its website by:

ACCC discontinues Siemens Alstom merger review

The ACCC has discontinued its review of the proposed Siemens AG and Alstom S.A. global merger, in light of the European Commission’s (EC) decision to block the transaction and the statements by the merger parties that the deal is off. 

The EC’s announcement states that the  divestment remedies put forward by the parties were not sufficient to address competition concerns in Europe.

NBN speeds mostly steady, but improvements needed

Fixed-line NBN customers received generally good levels of service during the latest round of ACCC broadband speed tests, but some consumers experienced a dip in speeds.

The ACCC’s latest Measuring Broadband Australia report, released today, expands the number of retail service providers (RSPs) to include Dodo, iPrimus and Exetel, enabling the report to cover a wider range of price points.

A million airbags still to be replaced

Australia’s largest ever recall is nearly two thirds progressed with 2.8 million faulty Takata airbags replaced with around 1 million still outstanding.

More than 70 per cent of all affected airbag inflators have been replaced nationally since the Federal Government put manufacturers on notice in February last year.

“Despite good progress, both motorists and car manufacturers shouldn’t become complacent,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“If you receive a letter or call from your car’s manufacturer, don’t delay or ignore it.” 

NBN customers urged to check if they’re entitled to a refund

The ACCC is encouraging NBN customers experiencing slow connection speeds to contact their retail service provider (RSP) as they may be eligible for a refund following undertakings it has negotiated with RSPs over the last 15 months.

Telstra, Optus, TPG, iiNet, Internode, Dodo, iPrimus and Commander have each admitted that they likely made false or misleading representations about the connection speeds NBN customers with fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) connections could experience.