Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Guidance for Harper reforms

The ACCC has today issued guidelines for consultation on the new misuse of market power, concerted practices and authorisation provisions. These reforms recently passed Parliament and stem from recommendations of the Competition Policy Review

“The ACCC will soon be able to act against concerted practices that substantially lessen competition and take action when a business with a substantial degree of market power has engaged in anti-competitive conduct,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

Issues paper for northern Australia insurance inquiry

The ACCC has today released an issues paper for its inquiry into the supply of residential building, contents, and strata insurance in northern Australia. The Australian Government directed the ACCC to undertake a wide-ranging inquiry due to concerns about affordability and availability of insurance in the region.

The ACCC will be hosting a series of public forums so consumers can share their concerns directly with the ACCC. The forums will be held in November and December this year in Townsville, Cairns, Darwin, Alice Springs, Karratha, Broome, Rockhampton, and Mackay.

Full Federal Court refers Tabcorp-Tatts decision back to the Tribunal

The Full Court of the Federal Court has today set aside the decision of the Australian Competition Tribunal to grant authorisation for Tabcorp Holdings Limited to acquire Tatts Group Limited, referring the decision back to the Tribunal for further consideration. 

“The ACCC is pleased that the Full Federal Court has set aside the decision, however the reasons for the decision are not yet public,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

ACCC takes action against Servcorp for alleged Unfair Contract Terms

The ACCC has instituted proceedings against Servcorp Ltd and two of its subsidiaries (Servcorp) alleging that a number of terms in Servcorp’s standard form contracts with small businesses are unfair and should be declared void.

Servcorp supplies serviced office space and virtual office services such as office suites, secretarial services, IT, communications and personal assistants to its clients, many of whom are Australian small businesses.

Court dismisses ACCC action against LG

The Federal Court has today dismissed proceedings brought by the ACCC against LG Electronics Australia Pty Ltd (LG).

The ACCC had alleged that LG made false or misleading representations to consumers about their rights in relation to faulty LG products.

In relation to complaints about defects with its televisions, the ACCC alleged LG misrepresented to consumers, retailers, or repairers that:

Get Qualified Australia ordered to pay $8 million penalty

The Federal Court today ordered Get Qualified Australia Pty Ltd (GQA) to pay an $8 million penalty for multiple breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and its sole director, Mr Adam Wadi, to pay a penalty of $500,000.

This is one of the highest penalties ever awarded for breaches of the ACL.

Justice Beach stated that “the education sector has been infected by the parasitic practices of operators preying upon the vulnerable and the unwary” and that GQA’s conduct was “serious, extensive and deliberate”.

The Court also made declarations that GQA:

ACCC takes action to enforce $50,000 penalty

The ACCC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against Mr Tuan Nguyen to enforce payment of a $50,000 penalty previously ordered for breaches of consumer law.

In 2013, the Court found that Mr Nguyen was knowingly concerned in false or misleading representations made by Artorios Ink to five small businesses to sell printer cartridges.

The Court ordered Mr Nguyen to pay a penalty of $50,000 but he made no payments and filed for bankruptcy. 

ACCC takes action against domain registration businesses

The ACCC has instituted proceedings against Domain Name Corp Pty Ltd and Domain Name Agency Pty Ltd (also trading as Domain Name Register) (the Domain companies) alleging that they engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations to Australian businesses about the domain name services they offered.

The ACCC is also alleging that the sole director of both the Domain companies was involved in the conduct.