Competition and Consumer Act 2010

ACCC contempt action results in jail sentence for director

The Federal Court has sentenced the former company director of a parcel distribution business for 'Heartlink' branded products, Laurence Hann, to five months imprisonment for failing to comply with court orders made against him in May 2012, following ACCC action for contempt of Court.

The court found Mr Hann in contempt of court and ordered him to serve two weeks of the five-month sentence with the remainder suspended. The court also ordered Mr Hann to pay the ACCC’s full costs.

Sensis provides undertaking and amends contract terms

The ACCC has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Sensis Pty Ltd (Sensis) following an investigation into its automatic contract renewal and cancellation processes. The ACCC investigation followed a large number of complaints from small business customers of Sensis.

From at least January 2015 to August 2016, Sensis represented on its website that its Yellow Pages and White Pages bundled print directory and online packages had a monthly fee with a 12-month minimum contract period, but failed to adequately disclose that:

Penalties ordered against Yazaki for collusive conduct

The Federal Court has imposed penalties against a Japanese company, Yazaki Corporation (Yazaki), for engaging in collusive conduct with a competitor when supplying wire harnesses to Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) in Australia.

In 2015, the Court found that Yazaki and its competitor coordinated quotes to Toyota for the supply of wire harnesses used in the manufacture of the Toyota Camry in Australia.

ACCC takes action against Ramsay Health Care for alleged anti-competitive conduct

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Ramsay Health Care Australia Pty Limited (Ramsay) for alleged anti-competitive conduct involving misuse of market power and exclusive dealing in the Coffs Harbour region.

Ramsay operates Baringa Private Hospital and the Coffs Harbour Day Surgery, the only private hospital and private day surgery facilities in the Coffs Harbour region. Coffs Harbour surgeons use operating theatres at Ramsay’s facilities to perform surgical procedures on private patients.

ACCC takes action against Murray Goulburn

The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Australia's largest milk processor, Murray Goulburn Cooperative Co. Limited (Murray Goulburn), alleging it engaged in unconscionable conduct and made false or misleading representations in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law. The ACCC also alleges that former managing director Gary Helou and former chief financial officer Bradley Hingle were knowingly concerned in Murray Goulburn’s conduct. 

ACCC to investigate and report on Australian gas markets and market transparency

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will use its inquiry powers, including its ability to compulsorily acquire information, to increase transparency and address opaqueness in the gas market. The ACCC will provide regular information to the market over the next three years on the supply and pricing of gas under a broad reference from the Federal Government.

“This new measure is an important element of the Government’s plan to make sure more affordable gas is available to industry and consumers,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

ACCC takes action against Apple over alleged misleading consumer guarantee representations

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Apple Pty Limited and its US-based parent company, Apple Inc., (together, Apple) alleging that Apple made false, misleading, or deceptive representations about consumers’ rights under the Australian Consumer Law.

ACCC takes action against Aveling Homes over online review websites

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Aveling Homes Pty Ltd (Aveling Homes), a Perth-based home building company, for alleged misleading conduct and false or misleading representations.

The alleged conduct is in relation to review websites Aveling Homes created for its businesses, Aveling Homes and the First Home Owner’s Centre.

Hearing aid sector put on notice

This World Hearing Day, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is releasing a report Issues around the sale of hearing aids to encourage industry to reconsider commissions, disclosure and sales practices in the context of the Australian Consumer Law.

Hearing aids range in price from around $1,500 to $15,000 per pair. The ACCC is encouraging consumers to be aware that hearing clinics are for the most part profit-making businesses like any other store and to shop around for the best hearing aid for their needs.