Business responsibilities

ACCC to commence excessive surcharge compliance role on 1 September 2016

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will begin enforcing the ban on excessive surcharges for large merchants on 1 September 2016.

Earlier today, the Reserve Bank of Australia Payments System Board (PSB) published its Standard which relates to surcharges by merchants when charging customers for the use of a credit or debit card. Surcharges will be excessive where they exceed the permitted cost of acceptance, as defined in the Standard.

Small business in focus - 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015

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

Calvary agrees to remove exclusive dealing bylaws following ACCC action

The Federal Court has declared that Little Company of Mary Health Care Ltd (LCMHC) and Calvary Health Care Riverina Ltd (Calvary Riverina) (jointly known as Calvary) engaged in exclusive dealing conduct that was likely to have an anti-competitive effect in the supply of day surgery services in Wagga Wagga. Calvary’s conduct related to the adoption of bylaws concerning the accreditation of medical practitioners to use Calvary medical facilities.

Court imposes penalty for false or misleading claims by Homeopathy Plus and Ms Frances Sheffield

The Federal Court yesterday ordered Homeopathy Plus! Pty Ltd (Homeopathy Plus) to pay penalties of $115,000 and its director, Ms Frances Sheffield, to pay $23,000 in penalties for making false or misleading representations about the effectiveness of the whooping cough vaccine and homeopathic remedies as an alternative to the whooping cough vaccine, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

ACCC enforcement guidance - free range hen egg claims

The ACCC has produced this guide to help hen egg producers of all sizes understand their fair trading rights and obligations when promoting or selling free range eggs. The guide will also inform consumers and the public more generally about the ACCC’s approach to free range egg claims, which may assist the public to have confidence buying free range.

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.