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Inside track: Competition & Consumer

28 September 2021

#Competition & Consumer Law

Inside track: Competition & Consumer

In the media

Conflicts of interest risk in funds management still high: ASIC
Financial advisers who are vertically integrated or have a financial relationship with fund managers pose a potential risk for conflicts of interest, particularly in relation to costs and managed accounts, new research shows. Fund managers do not control advice or platform fees, nor do they have bargaining power when paying fees to intermediaries such as platforms (24 September 2021).  More...

ASIC warns GameStop-style ‘pump and dump’ campaigns may amount to market manipulation
A “concerning trend” of social media posts being used to coordinate ‘pump and dump’ activity in listed stock may amount to market manipulation, according to Australia’s corporate regulator (23 September 2021).  More...

Financial complaints body finds 28 times against funeral fund
The Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund has been taken to AFCA 28 times recently over misleading and deceptive conduct. The company has since rebranded, but has been barred from selling new products. If the company becomes insolvent, victims won't be covered under the government's proposed compensation scheme of last resort (21 September 2021).  More...

Australian technology start-up star Unlockd sues Google for antitrust killing
The case will shine a global spotlight on the alleged misuse of power by tech giants at a time when the biggest platforms such as Google and Apple are coming under increasing pressure to curb anti-competitive behaviour, particularly in their app stores (20 September 2021).  More...

Supply chain price rises spur ACCC inquiry
Supply chain disruptions to the construction industry are likely to persist beyond the middle of 2022, according to a global risk survey. The Oxford Economics survey found one in eight businesses surveyed this month said they had been “severely affected” by supply chain interruptions (15 September 2021).  More...

Greenwashing hostility crashes friendly gas deal
The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, a shareholder advocacy group, sued in Australian federal court, arguing that Santos’ climate-related statements constitute greenwashing and represent, legally speaking, “misleading or deceptive conduct” (16 September 2021).  More...

TGA's lawyers allege UAP breach of copyright and demand distribution of alleged misleading adverse event reports stop
Lawyers for the TGA have written to United Australia Party leader, Mr Craig Kelly MP, alleging it has breached copyright and demanding that it stop distributing incomplete extracts of adverse event reports relating to COVID-19 vaccines which the TGA believes could be seriously misleading (15 September 2021).  More...

Interim authorisation granted for medicine wholesalers
The ACCC has granted interim authorisation to medicine wholesalers to continue to co-operate in providing fair and efficient access to essential medication and pharmacy products as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.(13 September 2021).  More...

Cases

Lanhai Pty Ltd v 7-Eleven Stores Pty Ltd [2021] VSC 587
INJUNCTION – application for mandatory injunction for franchisor to maintain lease with third party and to restrain termination of franchise agreement – principles to be applied – balance of convenience favoured retention of status quo.
MISLEADING AND DECEPTIVE CONDUCT – availability of interlocutory and permanent injunctive relief on alleged contravention of s 18 of the Australian Consumer Law.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v BlueScope Steel Limited (No 3) [2021] FCA 1147
EVIDENCE – alleged attempt by respondents to induce competitors to make arrangements or arrive at understandings that contain cartel provisions concerning the supply of flat steel products – rulings on admissibility of evidence in the course of trial – whether a transcript of an examination is an admission of a corporation under s 87 of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) – whether documents provided to the ACCC for the purposes of informal merger clearance were prepared or obtained for the purpose of or in contemplation of litigation within the meaning of s 69(3) of the Evidence Act – whether conclusory statements concerning competitors are admissible under s 78 of the Evidence Act – whether statements expressing the witness’ understanding about the meaning or effect of communications to which the witness was privy are admissible under s 78 of the Evidence Act – whether evidence concerning the formulation and circulation by BlueScope of a recommended resale price list in respect of sheet and coil processing services is relevant – sufficiency of evidence to prove that handwritten notes are a business record – whether written statements signed by a current employee of BlueScope, and which contain admissions, should be excluded under s 135 of the Evidence Act where the ACCC has chosen not to call the witness – whether examination in chief of a witness concerning a prior written statement based on leading questions asked with leave of the Court, and the prior written statement, are admissible or should be excluded under s 135 of the Evidence Act

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