Business responsibilities

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.

Section 46: The great divide

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims discusses three divides surrounding misuse of market power laws; the divide between what the words of section 46 mean to the wider public versus what they mean to competition insiders; the divide between Australia and the rest of the world; and, the divide between the focus on 'take advantage' and commercial and economic logic. Mr Sims suggests the proposed Harper reforms offer a way forward.

ACCC takes action on Kia capped price servicing

Kia Motors Australia Pty Limited (Kia) has agreed to amend the terms and conditions of its capped price servicing offer to consumers, following an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Beginning in 2012, Kia made statements on its website and in other promotional material which represented to consumers that its scheduled service prices for Kia vehicles were capped at a maximum price.   In particular, Kia represented on its website that ‘the capped price applicable for each service is the maximum you will pay for your scheduled service’.

ACCC releases latest small business report: new Franchising Code and online education highlight recent activities

Growing numbers of small businesses are looking to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissioner for advice and guidance, according to latest data from the national competition & franchising regulator.

Over 7, 000 people have contacted the ACCC in last six months with a small business or franchising related complaint or enquiry, and more than 8,000 people have completed the ACCC’s three free online education programs for small businesses, tertiary students and franchisees. There were also some 333 000 visits to the ACCC’s business webpages over the same time.