ACCC proposes to re-authorise Virgin-Etihad Alliance

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to re-authorise Virgin Australia (ASX: VAH) and Etihad Airways to continue their existing air transport services international alliance, which operates between Australia and the Middle East, for a further five years.

Under the alliance, the airlines cooperate on joint pricing and scheduling of services across their networks. Virgin and Etihad will not share revenue under the alliance.

ACCC proposes to re-authorise infant formula marketing code

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has proposed to re-authorise an agreement that prohibits the advertising and promotion of infant formula by manufacturers and importers directly to the public, and governs their interactions with health care professionals.

The Infant Nutrition Council’s Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula Agreement (MAIF Agreement), is a voluntary, self-regulatory code which governs the marketing of infant formula for infants up to 12 months. It has been authorised since 1992.

ACCC authorises Solar Retailer Code of Conduct

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted reauthorisation to the Clean Energy Council (the Council) for its revised Solar Retailer Code of Conduct for five years.

The Council represents Australia’s renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. The Code is a voluntary system that solar retailers can sign up to and meet best practice standards that will benefit consumers and the industry.

ACCC proposes to authorise levy for National Paint Product Stewardship Scheme

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposes to authorise the Australian Paint Manufacturers’ Federation, Paint Stewardship Limited and certain paint manufacturers to introduce a 15 cents per litre levy to support a National Paint Product Stewardship Scheme.

The Federation represents paint manufacturers responsible for over 90 per cent (by volume) of paint sold in Australia. The Paint Stewardship Scheme will be a national program intended to promote the safe disposal of all waste architectural and decorative paint by both domestic and trade consumers.

ACCC approves revised NBN deal with Optus

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a final decision granting authorisation to specific provisions within revised agreements between NBN Co and Optus.

Authorisation is granted for 35 years and follows the ACCC’s draft decision released in July.

The ACCC has also decided not to oppose NBN Co’s proposed acquisition of Optus’ HFC network.

“The ACCC’s assessment turns on the extent to which Optus and NBN Co are likely to compete absent the proposed acquisition,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

ACCC authorises Qantas/China Eastern coordination agreement

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has decided, on balance, to grant authorisation, subject to important conditions, for Qantas (ASX:QAN) and China Eastern to coordinate their operations between Australia and China under a proposed Joint Coordination Agreement.

In March 2015 the ACCC released a draft determination proposing to deny authorisation. Since then Qantas and China Eastern have provided significant commitments to add additional frequencies and destinations between Australia and China if the alliance is authorised.