Competing fairly

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.

Priorities 2015

In his first speech of the year, Chairman Rod Sims launches the 2015 edition of the ACCC’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy at CEDA in Sydney. Mr Sims announces cartel conduct in government procurement, truth in advertising, competition and consumer issues in the health sector and industry codes as new priorities. He also outlines the ACCC’s role in ensuring privatisation delivers for consumers, improving the functioning of the financial system given the competition focus of the Murray report, ensuring a smooth transition for consumers to NBN services and reviewing water rules to improve outcomes in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Court finds Coles engaged in unconscionable conduct and orders Coles pay $10 million penalties

The Federal Court has today, by consent, made declarations in two proceedings instituted by the ACCC that Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd engaged in unconscionable conduct in 2011 in its dealings with certain suppliers.

The Court has also ordered Coles pay combined pecuniary penalties of $10 million and costs.

Coles will also enter a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC to establish a formal process to provide options for redress for over 200 suppliers referred to in the proceedings.

In her judgment, Justice Gordon said:

The comparator website industry in Australia

This report has been compiled to provide industry, consumer groups and regulators with a better understanding of the comparator website industry in Australia and its potential impact on competition and consumer welfare.

The future of competition policy and its implications for Australian agriculture

Addressing the Australian Farm Institute Conference in Melbourne, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims explains how Australian agriculture can benefit from better competition policy. Mr Sims comments on the 'national champions' argument and advocates important changes to collective bargaining. He also calls on the egg industry to review free range claims following a recent Federal Court decision.

Enhancing competition policy

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims addresses the Law Council of Australia, Competition & Consumer Committee Annual General Meeting in Brisbane. Mr Sims discusses gaps in the law which can damage economic efficiency and also do not reflect international best practice. He also covers merger policy, and the re-emergence of the 'national champions' argument and briefly comments on institutional issues.

Misleading claims continuing concern for small businesses: ACCC launches latest small business in focus report

Misleading claims are a continuing issue for the small business sector, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s latest Small business in focus report launched today by ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper at the COSBOA National Small Business Summit.

This report, the eighth in the series, includes the latest small business and franchising related complaints data, and highlights the ACCC’s work in the small business sector between 1 January and 30 June 2014.

ACCC Chairman discusses current priorities

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims addressed the Sydney Business Chamber CEO's Leadership Roundtable today.

The broad ranging speech covered the ACCC's new role regarding the repeal of the carbon tax, general competition issues, emerging product safety matters, regulation of the National Broadband Network (NBN) as well as the Harper Review of Australia's competition laws and privatisation.

ACCC takes action against Electrodry alleging fake testimonials or reviews

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against A Whistle (1979) Pty Ltd, the franchisor of the Electrodry Carpet Cleaning business, alleging that it was involved in the posting of fake online testimonials.

Electrodry is a franchised business that provides carpet, drapery, grout, upholstery and mattress cleaning services with over 100 franchises in Australia.

The ACCC alleges that Electrodry:

    Reinvigorate our competition culture says ACCC Chairman

    The Harper Review provides an ideal opportunity to reinvigorate Australia’s competition culture, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims said today (Monday) at the CEDA State of the Nation Conference in Canberra.

    “Australia has lost a lot of its pro-competition culture that it gained from the 1990s National Competition Policy. Clearly we need ‘Hilmer Mark 2’, as the current Harper Review is styled,”
    Mr Sims said.