Competition and Consumer Act 2010

ACCC on competition law enforcement in the broad industrial relations area

Today the ACCC Chairman Rod Sims discussed the ACCC’s enforcement of competition law as it applies to alleged union behaviour in the general industrial relations arena, outlined current investigations and described difficulties with current laws.

The comments were made in a speech to the Law Council of Australia’s Business Law Competition and Consumer Committee Annual General Meeting.

Regulatory conference focused on better outcomes and reduced burden

Opening the ACCC / AER Regulatory Conference in Brisbane on Thursday, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims encouraged debate on achieving better regulatory outcomes and reducing regulatory burdens.

More than 400 delegates will attend the annual conference where international and local experts will discuss the big issues in the world of infrastructure regulation.

The two-day conference will cover issues such as:

ACCC unsuccessful in appeal from judgment dismissing price fixing allegations against ANZ

The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has dismissed an appeal by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission against a decision of the Federal Court which dismissed the ACCC’s price fixing allegations against Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ).

These proceedings concerned allegations by the ACCC that ANZ had made and given effect to a price fixing agreement, in breach of the then Trade Practices Act 1974 (the Act), now called the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

ACCC unsuccessful in appeal by Flight Centre

The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has allowed an appeal by Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (Flight Centre) against a decision of the Federal Court in which Flight Centre was found to have attempted to induce anti-competitive arrangements with three international airlines to eliminate differences in international airfares offered to customers, and ordered to pay penalties totalling $11 million.

ACCC accepts undertaking from Cabcharge to allow competitors to process its cards

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Cabcharge Australia Limited (Cabcharge) under which rival payment processors (third parties) will be able to process Cabcharge cards on their own in-taxi payment terminals, a first in the Australian taxi payments industry.

To date, third parties have been unable to reach agreement with Cabcharge to process its cards on their terminals. This historically has limited third parties’ ability to compete with Cabcharge for the acceptance and processing of non-cash payments in taxis.

Chairman addresses the great divide on misuse of market power

Proposed Harper reforms offer a way forward on the great divide surrounding section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said at the Annual Hodgekiss Competition Law Conference in Sydney on the weekend.

“The Harper Panel’s proposed substantially lessening competition test for section 46 will reduce unfortunate debates, align our law more with overseas law, and make our law logical and in line with the rest of the Act,” Mr Sims said.