Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Port of Newcastle to reduce charge for Glencore

The ACCC has finalised its arbitration of a dispute between Glencore Coal Assets Australia Pty Ltd (Glencore) and Port of Newcastle Operations Pty Ltd (PNO) about terms and conditions for accessing the ‘declared’ shipping channel service at the Port of Newcastle.

The ACCC has determined that PNO should reduce its current charge for ships entering the port to carry Glencore’s coal by around 20 per cent to $0.61 per gross tonne (GT).

The port provides the only commercially viable means of exporting coal from the Hunter Valley region in New South Wales.

Leading Australian hearing clinic pays penalties for misleading customers

Australian Hearing Services has paid penalties totalling $37,800 after the ACCC issued three infringement notices alleging the Australian Government owned corporation engaged in false or misleading conduct in connection with the supply of hearing services to consumers.

The ACCC also accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Australian Hearing, which has admitted that its conduct breached the Australian Consumer Law.

EGR to pay $6m penalty for exclusive dealing

Oakmoore Pty Ltd, trading as EGR, and its director Mr Rodney Horwill were today ordered to pay $6.35 million in penalties for being knowingly concerned in exclusive dealing conduct with the purpose of substantially lessening competition.

The Federal Court recently imposed penalties of $3.5 million against Palram Australia and $2.1 million against Ampelite Australia and one of its directors in respect to the same matter, bringing the total penalties to $11.95 million.

ACCC takes action against hearing aid retailers for misleading pensioners

The ACCC has commenced proceedings against hearing aid retailers Oticon Australia Pty Ltd and Sonic Innovations Pty Ltd, alleging that both businesses made false and misleading representations to pensioners in advertisements for hearing aids supplied under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program.

The advertisements were published on 85 occasions in newspapers around Australia from June to November 2017 under the AudioClinic and HearingLife brands. Oticon and Sonic sold more than 10 000 of the advertised Oticon Ria2 and Sonic Cheer20 hearing aids.

Heinz ordered to pay $2.25 million penalty over misleading health claim

The Federal Court of Australia has ordered H.J. Heinz Company Australia Ltd (Heinz) to pay penalties totalling $2.25 million for making a misleading health claim that its Little Kids Shredz products were beneficial for young children.

In March 2018, the Federal Court found that Heinz had breached the Australian Consumer Law by claiming its Shredz products were beneficial to the health of children aged 1-3 years, when this was not the case.

Court orders penalties of $5.5m against Palram and Ampelite for exclusive dealing

The Federal Court of Australia has declared by consent that Palram Australia and Ampelite Australia engaged in exclusive dealing conduct with the purpose of substantially lessening competition, and has ordered them to pay penalties totaling $5.5 million.

Palram and Ampelite are two of Australia’s largest distributors of polycarbonate roofing (Polycarb) to retail stores under the brands ‘Suntuf’ and ‘Solasafe’. Polycarb is commonly used to build residential pergolas.

ACCC to further increase enforcement work

Over the next year the ACCC will further increase its enforcement action, expand its work on data, algorithms and digital platforms, and increase the use of its powers to gather evidence in complex merger investigations, ACCC Chair Rod Sims told the members at the Law Council of Australia’s Business Law Section annual general meeting held in Sydney tonight.

Recently, the ACCC has won three significant consumer protection penalties: $10m for Telstra; $10m for Ford; and $9m for Apple.