Business responsibilities

ACCC releases guide to provide clarity on ‘free range’ egg claims

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a guide to assist egg producers better understand their Australian Consumer Law (ACL) rights and obligations when promoting their products as free range.

The guide explains the ACCC’s approach to enforcing misleading conduct provisions of the ACL, in the context of free range egg claims, while the Commonwealth Treasury is consulting on whether Australia should adopt a national standard on free range egg labelling.

ACCC takes action against Expression Sessions alleging unconscionable conduct

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Lifestyle Photographers Pty Ltd, trading as Expression Sessions.

The ACCC alleges that Expression Sessions made false or misleading representations and engaged in misleading or deceptive and unconscionable conduct when selling photography products.

Robert Paul Davies found guilty of aiding and abetting the failure to comply with a compulsory notice

The Federal Court in Brisbane has found Mr Robert Paul Davies guilty of aiding and abetting the failure by Natural Food Vending Pty Ltd (Natural Food Vending) to comply with a compulsory notice issued by the ACCC.

Mr Davies defended the charge, but was found guilty of an offence against section 155(5) of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (now called the Competition and Consumer Act 2010) (the Act).

Federal Court orders $250,000, penalty against Darling Downs Fresh Eggs for misleading ‘free range’ claims

The Federal Court has declared that RL Adams Pty Ltd, trading as Darling Downs Fresh Eggs, engaged in misleading conduct and made misleading representations in its labelling and promotion of eggs as ‘free range’, in proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The Court ordered that Darling Downs Fresh Eggs pay a pecuniary penalty of $250,000.

ACCC reminds food and grocery suppliers about new protections

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is reminding grocery suppliers about new protections they have under the Food & Grocery Code of Conduct, which has rules about grocery supply agreements, payments, termination of agreements, dispute resolution and a range of other matters.

The voluntary code complements existing protections under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, including the unconscionable conduct provisions.

ACCC concludes review of 'free range' and other similar claims in the pork industry

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has concluded investigations into alleged misleading conduct in the pork industry arising from claims such as ‘free range’, ‘bred free range’ and ‘bred outdoors’. Individual producers and the peak representative industry body, Australian Pork Limited, have cooperated to address the ACCC’s concerns.

ACCC accepts undertaking from Danoz Direct Pty Ltd about Abtronic X2

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Danoz Direct Pty Ltd (Danoz) following  concerns that its infomercials promoting the Abtronic X2 Fitness System (Abtronic X2) were misleading, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

Danoz is a direct online and television marketing company. The Abtronic X2 is a device that is worn like a belt around a person’s midsection and releases an electric current.

Federal Court penalises retailer $17 500 for Resale Price Maintenance

The Federal Court of Australia has ordered Omniblend Australia Pty Ltd (Omniblend), an online retailer of kitchen appliances including Omniblend blenders, to pay a pecuniary penalty of $17 500 for aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring an overseas supplier, Taiwan Star International (TSI), to engage in resale price maintenance.  As a result, TSI sought to induce Omniblend’s competitor not to sell OmniBlend blenders at a price less than the price specified by TSI, and subsequently withheld supply of OmniBlend Blenders to that competitor.

Comparator websites: A guide for comparator website operators and suppliers

The ACCC has developed this guide to assist operators and suppliers when making decisions about all aspects of comparator services, including in advertising and marketing.

Small business in focus - 1 January 2015 to 30 June 2015

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