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Inside track: Competition & Consumer

16 February 2021

#Competition & Consumer Law

Inside track: Competition & Consumer

In the media

Direction about advertisements: Mr David Leyonhjelm
Mr Leyonhjelm was directed to cease advertising a prescription medicine for the treatment of Covid-19, and making claims or representations in advertisements for any therapeutic goods that those goods have any effect on COVID-19 (including that said therapeutic goods are capable of preventing, treating or alleviating COVID-19) (08 February 2021).  More...

WWO fined $24m for criminal cartel conduct
On 18 June 2020 Wilhelmsen Ocean AS pleaded guilty to criminal cartel conduct. It has now been convicted and ordered by the Federal Court to pay a fine of $24 million. This is the third criminal prosecution arising from the global shipping cartel (05 February 2021).  More...

Australia fines Wallenius Wilhelmsen $18.25 M completing cartel case
The Federal Court in Australia completed the sentencing phase for Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean, the Norwegian car carrier, fining the company $18.25 million in Australia’s long-running criminal cartel case. The company was charged with colluding with its Japanese competitors between 2009 and 2012. WWO plead guilty to the charges in June 2020 after cooperating with the ACCC in its investigation into the transportation market (04 February 2021).  More...

Court win against solar company who broke door-to-door sales laws
Consumers are being reminded of their rights when approached by door-to-door salespeople after Consumer Affairs Victoria successfully took a solar company to the Federal Court for using aggressive sales tactics and misleading consumers (05 February 2021).  More...

Class action meeting for Fonterra suppliers
The lawyers accuse Fonterra of engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct, acting unconscionably and breaching contracts it had with dairy farmers. It alleges that Fonterra failed to honour its obligation to match the price of Murray Goulburn, another major dairy processor (03 February 2021).  More...

ACCC has eyes for Googles advertising
A lack of competition and transparency in the digital advertising technology supply chain is impacting on publishers, advertisers and consumers according to an interim report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (01 February 2021).  More...

Practice and Regulation

Interim report of the Commission’s Digital Advertising Services Inquiry
ACCC was currently seeking feedback on a series of possible options which are set out in the Interim Report. Feedback on the Interim Report would be received until 26 February. The ACCC’s Interim Report, including information on how to have a say, can be accessed here..

ACCC Note: Screen scraping warnings not anti-competitive
The ACCC, responding to questions on notice as part of a parliamentary inquiry by the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology, said that “statements or warnings regarding potential security or safety risks associated with screen scraping and sharing passwords … does not appear to have the purpose or effect of substantially lessening competition.” On 24 April 2020, the reporting date was extended from the first sitting day in October 2020 to 16 April 2021.

Guidelines on Part XICA - Prohibited conduct in the energy market
These guidelines set out how the ACCC will interpret Part XICA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and they explain the general approach the ACCC will take in investigating alleged contraventions of Part XICA (prohibiting certain conduct involving retail pricing, financial contract markets and electricity spot markets).
Part XICA will be in effect from 10 June 2020 to 1 January 2026.  More...


Director, Consumer Affairs Victoria v Vic Solar Pty Ltd (No 2) [2021] FCA 26
CONSUMER LAW – door to door marketing and sale of residential solar photovoltaic panels and inverters – alleged misleading representations in contravention of ss 18, 29 and 33 of the Australian Consumer Law – whether the respondent entered into unsolicited consumer agreements and contravened ss 73, 74, 76, 78, 79, 84 and 86 of the Australian Consumer Law – whether the respondent’s marketing and sales methods were unconscionable in contravention of s 21 of the Australian Consumer Law – whether allegations invoked Federal jurisdiction
Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) ss 131, 139B(2)
Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) Schedule 2 (Australian Consumer Law) ss 18, 21, 29, 33, 69, 70, 72, 73, 74, 76, 78, 79, 84, 86, 224, 232, 237, 248
Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 (Vic) ss 8, 10, 107, 109(g), 110, 126, 196(2)
Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) rr 4.04(3), 4.05(1)(b)
Competition and Consumer Regulations 2010 (Cth) regulations 83, 84, 85

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