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.

ACCC welcomes new electricity generation investment in South Australia

The ACCC welcomes today’s announcement by the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy and SIMEC ZEN Energy of investment in new electricity generation capacity in South Australia.

“The ACCC authorised SACOME members to go to market to find a more competitive supplier of electricity. We did this because, as a group, they had a better chance of securing supply from a new source of generation that would bring new competition to the market,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

Criminal cartel charges laid against ANZ, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank

Citigroup Global Markets Australia Pty Limited (Citigroup), Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft (Deutsche Bank) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) have been charged with criminal cartel offences following an investigation by the ACCC.

Criminal charges have also been laid against several senior executives: John McLean, Itay Tuchman and Stephen Roberts of Citigroup; Michael Ormaechea and Michael Richardson formerly of Deutsche Bank; and Rick Moscati of ANZ.  

Update: Criminal cartel charges to be laid against Citigroup

Further to its earlier statements regarding criminal cartel charges expected to be laid by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) against ANZ, its Group Treasurer Rick Moscati, and Deutsche Bank, the ACCC can confirm that Citigroup Global Markets Australia Pty Limited is the other company against which charges are expected to be laid, along with a number of individuals.

The expected charges follow an extensive ACCC criminal cartel investigation.

The ACCC will not make any further comment until charges are laid.