ACCC issues ACCCount for October to December 2018 quarter

ACCCount details the ACCC’s enforcement, compliance, merger, adjudication, economic regulation, market studies, advocacy and international activities.

During the October to December 2018 quarter:

  • The ACCC commenced proceedings against NSW Ports Operations Holds Co Pty Ltd and others for making agreements with the state of NSW that have an anti-competitive purpose and effect.
  • The ACCC achieved penalties against seven traders for breaches of the ACL, including:
    • Penalties totalling $18 million against We Buy Houses Pty Ltd and its sole director, Rick Otton, for making false and misleading representations about how people could create wealth through buying and selling real estate.
    • Former Murray Goulburn Co-operative Managing Director Gary Helou to pay $200 000 in penalties for being knowingly concerned in Murray Goulburn’s false and misleading claims about the 2015-16 farmgate milk price.
    • $1 million in penalties against Seednet for making false, misleading and deceptive claims relating to its barley variety known as ‘Compass'.
  • The High Court dismissed Yazaki Corporation’s application for special leave to appeal the Full Federal Court’s earlier decision, resulting in the $46 million in penalties for cartel conduct against Yazaki continuing to stand.
  • The ACCC made a number of significant merger decisions, including in regard to Nine Entertainment's proposed merger with Fairfax Media, Cabcharge Australia Limited's proposed acquisition of Mobile Technologies International Pty Ltd, and Thales S.A.'s proposed acquisition of Gemalto N.V.
  • The ACCC released a number of publications, including the Residential Mortgage Price Inquiry final report, the annual report on the private health insurance industry and the third Measuring Broadband Australia report.
  • The ACCC published the internet activity record keeping rule, whereby information on internet activity in Australia will be collected and reported bi-annually, including services in operation and data download volumes.
  • The ACCC continued to monitor and oversee compliance with the compulsory Takata airbag recall.
  • The ACCC undertook surveillance across 767 retail outlets (bricks and mortar and online) to gauge the effectiveness of, and compliance with, particular safety regulations. As a result of this proactive surveillance program, six products across the following product categories were recalled by their respective suppliers due to non-compliance: bean bags, combustible candle holders, swimming and flotation aids, trolley jacks and vehicle jacks.

To read the full report, see: ACCCount 1 October to 31 December 2018

Published date: 
15 February 2019