Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Peter Foster's appeal to be dismissed

On 18 March 2014, the Federal Court has ordered that if Mr Peter Foster does not surrender himself by 4.00 pm (EST) on 25 March 2014, his appeal against the three year imprisonment sentence imposed on him will be dismissed for want of prosecution, without further order. 

Until 4.00pm on 25 March, Mr Foster’s appeal will continue to be stayed. 

Warrants for the arrest and imprisonment of Mr Foster are still in force. 

Court finds breast imaging provider engaged in misleading conduct

The Federal Court has found that breast imaging provider Breast Check Pty Ltd (now called PO Health Professionals Pty Ltd) engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false representations about the devices used in its breast imaging services, in proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Former director, Dr Alexandra Boyd was also found to have been knowingly concerned in Breast Check’s conduct.

ACCC 2014 compliance and enforcement policy promises action on drip pricing

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released its 2014 Compliance and Enforcement Policy. The policy outlines the ACCC's priority areas for the year and sets out the factors to be taken into account when deciding whether to pursue matters. 

Launching the policy a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) in Sydney, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said a strategic review confirmed many previously identified priorities and added some new areas.

ACCC takes action against Pfizer Australia for alleged anti-competitive conduct

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd (Pfizer) for alleged misuse of market power and exclusive dealing in relation to its supply of atorvastatin to pharmacies in contravention of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Atorvastatin is a pharmaceutical product used to lower cholesterol and Pfizer’s originator brand of atorvastatin, Lipitor, was for a number of years the highest selling prescription medicine under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Clarification of ACCC Chairman’s comments in The Australian Financial Review 6 January

As part of a wide ranging interview on the year ahead the Chairman of the ACCC, Mr Rod Sims, welcomed the coming Root and Branch competition review. He said the review will be extremely important in terms of addressing impediments to competition which will benefit the economy generally. 

He also said that the competition review was likely to address the role of government in markets, and then went on to say that, generally, the private sector will run commercial enterprises more efficiently than government.

A future regulatory outlook

Addressing the University of Wollongong’s SMART international infrastructure symposium, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims discusses the role that appropriate infrastructure regulation can play in the wider productivity debate. Mr Sims explains the key factors underpinning efficient infrastructure in the areas of land transport, shipping, electricity, communications and water.   

ACCC publishes updated informal merger review process guidelines

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released the ACCC’s Informal Merger Review Process Guidelines 2013. This follows a consultation process on a draft of the Guidelines with key stakeholders in July, including detailed discussions with the Law Council of Australia.

“The Informal Merger Review Process Guidelines have been updated to reflect important recent developments in the ACCC’s approach to merger reviews, as well as incorporating some additional changes aimed at improving efficiency and transparency,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.