Issues paper for northern Australia insurance inquiry

The ACCC has today released an issues paper for its inquiry into the supply of residential building, contents, and strata insurance in northern Australia. The Australian Government directed the ACCC to undertake a wide-ranging inquiry due to concerns about affordability and availability of insurance in the region.

The ACCC will be hosting a series of public forums so consumers can share their concerns directly with the ACCC. The forums will be held in November and December this year in Townsville, Cairns, Darwin, Alice Springs, Karratha, Broome, Rockhampton, and Mackay.

ACCC not to declare mobile roaming but identifies measures to improve regional mobile coverage

The ACCC has decided not to declare domestic mobile roaming. However, it has identified a range of regulatory and policy measures that could improve inadequate mobile phone coverage and poor quality of service in regional Australia.

In deciding whether to declare a service, the ACCC must be satisfied that declaration would promote the long-term interests of end-users.

“The ACCC’s inquiry found that declaration would likely not lead to lower prices or better coverage or quality of services for regional Australians,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

Telstra offers refunds for AFL Live Pass

Telstra is offering refunds to some AFL Live Pass app subscribers after the ACCC raised concerns about Telstra’s disclosure of the size of its viewing screen available on mobiles and tablets.

During the 2016 season, live AFL matches appeared in full-screen on tablets. On 31 January 2017, Telstra introduced a screen size restriction of seven inches for live matches, meaning games no longer appeared full screen on many tablets.

JJ Richards contract terms declared unfair and void

The Federal Court has declared, by consent, that eight terms in the standard form contract used by JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd (JJ Richards) to engage small businesses are unfair, and therefore void, following  ACCC action.

JJ Richards is one of the largest privately-owned waste management companies in Australia and provides recycling, sanitary and green waste collection services.

“This is the first court action by the ACCC to enforce new laws that protect small businesses from unfair contract terms,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

ACCC welcomes new era in competition law

The ACCC welcomes two important legislative amendments to Australian competition law that have passed Parliament, following recommendations from the 2015 Harper Competition Policy Review.

The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Bill passed Parliament today, following the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Bill 2017 (Cth) which was passed on 23 August 2017.

ACCC Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry: Preliminary Report

The ACCC preliminary report into the electricity market highlights significant concerns about the operation of the National Electricity Market, which is leading to serious problems with affordability for consumers and businesses.

ACCC concludes investigation into ALDI 'flushable' wipes

The ACCC has completed its investigation into ALDI’s ‘flushable’ wipes and will take no further action after ALDI stopped selling its personal hygiene wipes and removed potentially misleading claims from its bathroom cleaning wipes packaging.

In July this year, the ACCC raised concerns with ALDI regarding its promotion of certain ‘flushable’ wipes products. At the time, ALDI was promoting the Green Action Flushable Bathroom Cleaning Wipes (100pk) in its Special Buys catalogue.

ACCC proposes to allow agribusinesses joint purchasing of energy

The ACCC has issued a draft determination proposing to allow businesses in the new Eastern Energy Buyers Group (EEBG) to run joint tender processes for electricity and gas. 

EEBG’s members operate in the agriculture industry and are industrial energy users. Members have significant operations in Victoria and some operations interstate. The proposed joint tender process would cover supply for electricity, gas and gas transport services to members of the group.