Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Pental to pay $700,000 in penalties for ‘flushable’ wipes claims

The Federal Court has ordered Pental Limited and Pental Products Pty Ltd (together, Pental) to pay penalties totalling $700,000, for making false and misleading representations about its White King ‘flushable’ toilet and bathroom cleaning wipes.

Pental’s packaging and promotional materials for its White King wipes included statements such as “flushable”, “Simply wipe over the hard surface of the toilet…and just flush away”, and “White King Toilet Wipes are made from a specially designed material, which will disintegrate in the sewage system when flushed, just like toilet paper”.

Flight Centre ordered to pay $12.5 million in penalties

The Full Federal Court of Australia has today ordered Flight Centre to pay penalties totalling $12.5 million for attempting to induce three international airlines to enter into price fixing arrangements between 2005 and 2009.

Flight Centre sought to have each airline agree not to offer airfares on its own website that were less than those offered by Flight Centre.

The matter was remitted to the Full Federal Court for determination of penalty, following the ACCC’s successful appeal to the High Court of Australia in December 2016.

Cardtronics to amend unfair ATM contracts

ATM provider Cardtronics has admitted that its subsidiary, DC Payments, offered contract terms with small business that may be unfair under the Australian Consumer Law.

Cardtronics has given a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC to change terms that may be unfair for businesses under existing contracts.

“Business contracts need to balance the rights of each party to ensure they aren’t unfair, as smaller firms may not always be in a strong negotiating position,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

Action over alleged misleading Indigenous art claims

The ACCC has taken Federal Court action against Aboriginal art products and Australiana souvenirs wholesaler Birubi Art Pty Ltd (Birubi), alleging it made misleading Indigenous art claims.

The ACCC alleges that between July 2014 and November 2017, Birubi contravened the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading representations that some of its products were made in Australia and/or that Aboriginal people had made or hand painted them, when in fact they were made in Indonesia.

iiNet and Internode to compensate customers for misleading NBN speed claims

Internet providers iiNet Limited and Internode Pty Ltd will compensate more than 11,000 customers who could not reach the internet speeds they were promised in their NBN contracts, following an investigation by the ACCC.

Remedies will now be offered to more than 8,000 iiNet customers and more than 3,000 Internode customers. Affected customers can choose from options including moving to a lower tier speed plan with a refund, or exiting their plan without cost and receiving a refund.

ABG Pages admits misleading and unconscionable conduct

The Federal Court has ordered that online business directory service ABG Pages Pty Ltd (ABG) pay a $300,000 penalty for breaching the Australian Consumer Law. ABG admitted to engaging in systemic unconscionable conduct, undue harassment, and making false and misleading representations in relation to its online advertising services.

The Court also ordered ABG’s sole director, Ms Michele McCullough, pay a $40,000 penalty and be disqualified from managing corporations for 5 years for her role in the conduct.