Mosaic Brands pays $630,000 in penalties over COVID-related 'health essentials'

Mosaic Brands Limited, an ASX listed company, has paid penalties totalling $630,000, and admitted that it breached the Australia Consumer Law in its promotion of pandemic-related ‘Health Essential Products’.

Mosaic Brands is the largest speciality fashion retail group in Australia. It owns well-known fashion brands Noni B, Autograph, BeMe, Crossroads, Katies, Millers, Rivers, Rockmans and W.Lane and operates about 1210 stores nationally.

Competition exemptions in the time of COVID-19

In a six week period from mid-March 2020, the ACCC received 33 applications for authorisation of competitor collaborations to deal with disruption and risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this unprecedented number of urgent applications, the ACCC deployed substantial resources and used streamlined processes to grant interim and final authorisations in extremely quick timeframes.

Adventium pays around $6.5 million in withheld payments to Australian tour operators

The ACCC has concluded its investigation into Adventium, the owner of online booking platform Website Travel, after Adventium paid approximately $6.5 million of withheld payments to over 350 Australian tour operators.

In April 2020, Adventium announced it would withhold funds received through its Website Travel platform that were owed to tour operators, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as its reason for doing so.

The ACCC commenced its investigation following concerns raised by a number of tourism operators, particularly in Queensland.

Domestic airlines look for growth opportunities amid continuing challenges

Australia’s domestic airlines are gradually recovering from historically low passenger numbers, but snap border closures continue to create challenges for the industry.

The ACCC’s third Airline Competition in Australia report, released today, shows total passenger numbers for December 2020 were 41 per cent of pre-COVID numbers, up from the 13 per cent of pre-pandemic levels reported in September 2020.

ACCC action sees APT commit to providing customers higher refund amounts for COVID-19 cancellations

Thousands of Australians will receive additional refund amounts for cancelled travel after Australian Pacific Touring Pty Ltd (APT), trading as APT and Travelmarvel, agreed to stop deducting marketing and overhead costs from booking refunds and to reimburse customers who had previously had these costs deducted from their refund.

Demand for interstate travel can jump start airline recovery

Australia’s commercial airlines are operating at a fraction of their pre-COVID-19 capacity but there is growing optimism within the industry as demand for interstate travel increases.

The ACCC’s second Airline Competition in Australia report, released today, shows total passenger numbers for the month of September 2020 were 87 per cent lower than September last year, and airline industry revenues were commensurately lower.

Travel problems top list of COVID-19-related reports

New figures released today show COVID-19-related consumer reports make up the majority of the 109,446 complaints the ACCC received in the first ten months of this year.

The impact of COVID-19 on consumers and fair trading report reveals the pandemic’s impact on travel resulted in 24,210 complaints to the ACCC, an increase of 497 per cent compared to the same period last year.