Business responsibilities

Unfair contract terms under scrutiny

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has a number of in-depth investigations underway across a range of industries following the introduction of the new business-to-business (B2B) unfair contract terms laws in November 2016.

Delivering the keynote address at a UNSW forum on recent developments in competition and consumer law, ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said the regulator would be taking enforcement action in relation to a number of companies over B2B unfair contract terms this year.

ACCC Releases Statement of Issues on Caltex's proposed acquisition of Milemaker

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a Statement of Issues expressing initial concerns about the proposed acquisition by Caltex Australia Petroleum (ASX:CTX) of a chain of 46 service stations in Victoria from Milemaker Petroleum.

The ACCC’s preliminary view is that the acquisition may substantially lessen competition for the retail supply of petrol in Melbourne.

Micro firms make highest business complaints to ACCC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s latest Small Business in Focus report reveals that micro and small businesses made 7,000 complaints and enquiries from July 1 to December 31 2016.

“Over 60 per cent of business contacts were from micro enterprises of four or under employees, which isn’t surprising given that micro firms are the biggest group of businesses in Australia,” ACCC Acting Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

Small business in focus - 1 July to 31 December 2016

This twice-yearly report provides a summary of ACCC activities in the small business and franchising sectors and updates on industry codes.

ACCC releases guidance to consumers and businesses in the disability sector

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today released guidance to empower people with disability to use their consumer rights when buying goods and services under the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The roll out of the NDIS, which commenced on 1 July, is one of the biggest policy reforms in generations that will affect over 460,000 Australians with disability and introduces a fundamental change to the market for goods and services in the disability sector.

Businesses remove unfair contract terms before new law

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s new report into potentially unfair contract terms details its review of 46 contracts across seven industries, which resulted in a range of businesses making changes to their small business standard form contracts.

The ACCC will begin enforcing the new law this week [Nov 12], when consumer protections against unfair contract terms are extended to include up to 2 million Australian small businesses.