Competition and Consumer Act 2010

EZ Smile pays penalty for alleged misleading statements on its website

EZ Smile Pty Ltd has paid a penalty of $12,600 after the ACCC issued an infringement notice for an alleged false or misleading representation made on EZ Smile’s website in relation to the involvement of Australian orthodontists in its teeth straightening services.

EZ Smile offers teeth straightening services using clear dental aligners, which it sells direct to consumers through its website.

Class exemption will enable small businesses to collectively bargain

An ACCC class exemption due to commence in early 2021 will allow small businesses, franchisees and fuel retailers to collectively negotiate with their suppliers and processors, franchisor or fuel wholesaler respectively, without first having to seek ACCC approval.

Businesses will be able to use the class exemption after the period for parliamentary disallowance expires in early 2021. This collective bargaining exemption is the first class exemption to be introduced by the ACCC.

Amaysim and Lycamobile pay penalties over ads for ‘unlimited’ mobile plans

Amaysim Australia Ltd (ASX: AYS) and Lycamobile Pty Ltd have paid penalties totalling $126,000 and $12,600 respectively after the ACCC issued each of these mobile services providers with an infringement notice for alleged false or misleading representations about their mobile phone plans.

The ACCC alleges that each business separately misrepresented that their mobile phone plans were ‘unlimited’ in advertisements on social media designed to entice new customers, when in fact the plans had a maximum data allowance.

FE Sports allegedly engaged in resale price maintenance

The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against B & K Holdings (QLD) Pty Ltd, trading as FE Sports, alleging that it engaged in resale price maintenance for the wholesale supply of cycling and sporting products in Australia.

It is alleged that between February 2017 and June 2019, FE Sports provided 328 dealer agreements to existing or prospective dealers containing terms that prohibited the dealer from advertising or promoting the products of certain brands on the dealer’s website for less than the recommended retail price (RRP) set by FE Sports.

iSelect to pay $8.5 million for misleading consumers comparing energy plans

The Federal Court has ordered iSelect Limited to pay $8.5 million in penalties for making false or misleading representations about its electricity comparison service.

iSelect admitted that, between November 2016 and December 2018, it misled consumers by representing on its website that it would compare all electricity plans offered by its partners and recommend the most suitable or competitive plan, when this was not the case. During the period, hundreds of thousands of consumers visited the website.

Federal Court dismisses case against Employsure

The Federal Court has dismissed the ACCC’s consumer law case against workplace relations advisor Employsure Pty Ltd, finding that it did not engage in misleading marketing or behave unconscionably in dealings with small businesses.

The ACCC alleged that, between August 2016 and November 2018, Employsure misrepresented to small business consumers that it was, or was affiliated with, a government agency, using Google Ads and through statements on its websites.

Live Life Alarms pays penalties for allegedly misleading statements on its website

Personal mobile alarm company Flight Plan Digital Pty Ltd, trading as Live Life Alarms, has paid penalties of $25,200 after the ACCC issued two infringement notices for alleged false or misleading representations made on its website in relation to a testimonial and its ‘14 day money back guarantee’.

Live Life Alarms is an online seller of personal ‘SOS’ alarms which are typically used by the elderly and people with disabilities to contact friends, family or emergency services if they require urgent assistance.

Full Court dismisses ACCC appeal over Woolworths’ ‘compostable’ claims

The Full Federal Court today dismissed an ACCC appeal against a Federal Court judgment in relation to environmental claims made by Woolworths about their ‘W Select eco’ picnic products.

The ACCC’s case was that claims made by Woolworths between November 2014 and November 2017 about its range of disposable plates, bowls and cutlery which were labelled ‘biodegradable and compostable’ were false and misleading.