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Inside track: Competition and Consumer Law

05 February 2019

#Competition & Consumer Law

Inside track: Competition and Consumer Law

In the media 

Cryptocurrency looks for respectability as more than 200 exchanges registered
Australia's competition regulator is keeping an eye on bitcoin scams. In September, ASIC announced it had stopped several proposed ICOs aimed at retail investors for making deceptive statements and not holding financial services licences, among other issues. Treasury has now begun its own consultation process considering ICOs (1 February 2019).  More... 

Con man facing deportation to NZ from Australia for fake visa scam
A serial con man who defrauded international students of tens of thousands of dollars is facing deportation to New Zealand. Korean-born Sydney-based businessman Eddie Kang was convicted of 22 counts of fraud and misleading conduct involving 11 foreign students in 2017 (1 February 2019).  More... 

Air New Zealand's $15 million fine for cargo price fixing makes it the 14th airline penalised for cartel rip-offs
Air New Zealand (Air NZ) has been penalised $15 million by an Australian Court for its part in a global air cargo cartel as part of an ongoing case by the ACCC involving 15 of the world’s leading airlines. The latest case involved an illegal agreement by Air NZ with other airlines to fix the price of fuel and insurance surcharges on air freight services (27 January 2019).  More... 

Adviser banned for ‘deceptive conduct’ with binding nomination forms
A financial adviser has been permanently banned after an ASIC investigation found that he had dishonestly backdated advice documents and incorrectly witnessed binding nomination of beneficiary forms (23 January 2019).  More...

TomTom, Navman and Garmin remove ‘lifetime’ claims
Three manufacturers of consumer GPS navigation products have agreed to stop using ‘lifetime’ claims in their advertising of navigation services after the ACCC raised concerns these statements were potentially false, misleading or deceptive. Each made lifetime claims in marketing on their websites, on packaging and point-of-sale marketing, and in retailers’ catalogues and websites (23 January 2019).  More... 

Practice and Regulation

ACCC discussion paper: Electricity monitoring
The ACCC has released a discussion paper relating to how it will conduct its new role of monitoring and reporting on supply of electricity in the National Electricity Market. The first report is due to the Treasurer on 31 March 2019. To see the media release click here and to view the discussion paper click here

Initial Coin Offerings
This issues paper forms part of Treasury’s review into Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The Treasury invites interested parties to make submissions on any or all aspects of the issues raised in this paper by 28 February 2019. Feedback gathered during this process will inform subsequent advice to the Government. You can submit responses to this consultation up until 28 February 2019.  More... 


Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria v Wens Bros Trading Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 39
CONSUMER LAW – Contraventions of ss 106, 118 and 136 of the Australian Consumer Law – hearing on penalty for breaches of product safety standards, product information standards and prohibition on sale of products subject to permanent ban – adverse publicity orders – pecuniary penalties. Taking into account these other decisions, I remain of the view that the penalty sums of $225,000 for the first respondent and $190,000 for Mr Xu are appropriate.
Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) s 139G, Sch 2, Australian Consumer Law (Cth) ss 104, 106, 114, 118, 136, 224, 247; Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) s 191; Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) s 37M.
Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) ss 65C, 65D, 65E, 172; Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) rr 1.34, 41.06.
Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 (Vic) ss 8, 126.


Howard Rapke, Managing Partner, Melbourne
T: +61 3 9321 9752

Ian Robertson, National Managing Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0401

Paul Venus, Managing Partner, Queensland
T: +71 7 3135 0613

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