Competing fairly

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.

    The need to elevate competition in our public policy

    Addressing the CEDA State of the Nation Conference in Canberra, Rod Sims says the Harper Review provides an ideal opportunity to reinvigorate Australia’s competition culture.  

    Mr Sims explains that effective competition policy depends on using competition and other incentives to boost productivity, effective competition laws and creating processes and institutions that continually foster competition.

    Competition issues at the forefront in aviation

    Competition issues have featured prominently in the rapidly changing aviation sector, ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said today at the Swinburne Aviation Industry Conference in Melbourne.

    “The competitive landscape in the airline market has been characterised by rapid expansion and transformation,” Dr Walker said.

    “Recent features of the Australian market include changes in airline structures and increased competition on international routes from mid-point carriers.”

    ACCC takes action against Coles for alleged unconscionable conduct towards its suppliers

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd and Grocery Holdings Pty Ltd (together, Coles) alleging that Coles engaged in unconscionable conduct in relation to its Active Retail Collaboration (ARC) program, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

    Federal Court declares anticompetitive conduct by Cement Australia

    The Federal Court in Brisbane has made declarations in the ACCC v Cement Australia Pty Ltd & Ors matter, finding numerous contraventions of section 45 of the then Trade Practices Act 1974, now the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act).

    Section 45 of the Act prohibits corporations from entering into, and giving effect to, contracts and arrangements that have the purpose or effect of substantially lessening competition.

    Authorisation

    Where businesses are concerned that their proposed conduct may give rise to a breach of the competition provisions of the Act, they can seek authorisation from the ACCC. If the ACCC is satisfied that the relevant legal test is met and grants authorisation, this removes the risk of legal action under the competition provisions.