Competition and Consumer Act 2010

ACCC names key enforcement and compliance priorities for 2017

The Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Rod Sims says 2017 will see its enforcement teams hone in on misleading and deceptive practices, anti-competitive conduct and unfair contract terms affecting small businesses.

Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) event in Sydney today, Mr Sims launched the ACCC’s 2017 Compliance and Enforcement policy, which details the industries and issues the competition and consumer regulator will focus on in the year ahead.

Valve to pay $3 million in penalties for misrepresenting gamers' consumer guarantee rights

On 23 December 2016 the Federal Court ordered Valve Corporation (Valve) to pay penalties totalling $3 million for breaching the Australian Consumer Law. Valve is one of the world’s largest online game retailers and operates the Steam game distribution platform. 

In March 2016, the Court found that Valve had breached the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading representations to consumers in relation to its online gaming platform, Steam.

ACCC closes tertiary admissions centres investigation

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has completed its inquiries into alleged anti-competitive conduct by tertiary admissions centres (TACs) and decided to discontinue its investigation.

The ACCC commenced its investigation after the Australian National University (ANU) alleged that the Western Australian Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC) and the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) had both, independently, refused to supply tertiary admission services to ANU.

ACCC acknowledges GrainCorp’s removal of outload fee surcharge

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has ended its investigation into a surcharge formerly imposed by GrainCorp upon customers for outloading grain delivered by rail from its upcountry storage and handling facilities to rival port terminals.

The ACCC had been investigating whether the imposition of the surcharge increased the cost of sending grain to wheat ports operated by Graincorp’s rivals and was anti-competitive, after industry participants raised concerns during the ACCC’s exemption assessment process for Port Kembla port terminals.

High Court allows ACCC appeal in Flight Centre attempted price-fixing case

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today won a High Court appeal in relation to Flight Centre’s attempt to induce three international airlines to enter into price-fixing arrangements between 2005 and 2009 in relation to air fares offered online by the airlines that were cheaper than those offered by Flight Centre. 

Another airline stops pre-selecting optional extras

The ACCC welcomes Tigerair Australia’s announcement that it has stopped pre-selecting travel insurance and baggage on its online booking platforms.

Tigerair is the third Australian domestic airline to commit to stopping pre-selection conduct in two days following discussions with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“The ACCC is pleased that it has been able to achieve this positive change for Australian consumers without having to pursue other options,” said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims.

Advanced Medical Institute owners fined $350,000 for contempt of court

The Federal Court has fined NRM Corporation Pty Ltd and NRM Trading Pty Ltd (together, NRM) $350,000 for contempt of court. NRM owns and operates the business known as the Advanced Medical Institute (AMI).

This decision follows an earlier finding by Justice Moshinsky that NRM had failed to comply with court orders made by Justice North on 22 April 2015 in previous proceedings brought by the ACCC.