Record $153 million in penalties ordered against training college AIPE
The Federal Court has ordered $153 million in penalties against Australian Institute of Professional Education Pty Ltd (in liquidation) (AIPE). The Court had previously declared that AIPE had engaged in a system of unconscionable conduct, as well misleading or deceptive conduct, when enrolling consumers into online diploma courses under the former VET FEE-HELP loan program. More...
Funeral industry practices raise consumer concerns
The ACCC is calling for funeral businesses to review their contracts and pricing practices to ensure they comply with consumer and competition laws, in new report. The ACCC Deputy Chair said they are calling on the funeral industry to do a thorough review of their systems, training and marketing practices to ensure they don’t mislead consumers on pricing or other claims” (02 November 2021). More...
IAG faces shareholder class action over BI disclosure
Major Law firm plans to file a shareholder class action against IAG for alleged breaches in updating the market about its exposure to business interruption claims resulting from the pandemic. AG policies relied on the outdated Quarantine Act as the foundation for its pandemic exclusion clause. The class action will allege breaches of stock exchange continuous disclosure obligations and misleading and deceptive conduct (30 November 2021). More...
Mazda misled consumers about their rights over refund or replacement for faulty cars
The Federal Court has found that Mazda Australia Pty Ltd engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations to nine consumers about their consumer guarantee rights. The Court found that Mazda misled these consumers about their consumer guarantee rights by representing that they were only entitled to have their vehicles repaired (30 November 2021). More...
Suppliers of CAMI and iTutor home tutoring software admit to using unfair contract terms
Education software supplier Compass Matin Pty Ltd and its contract manager EduCollect Pty Ltd have admitted to using unfair contract terms in the supply of their CAMI and iTutor home tutoring programs. Compass Matin has also admitted that it made false or misleading representations to consumers about free tutoring lessons, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law (30 November 2021). More...
Profit over patient safety’: Health regulator launches review into cosmetic surgery industry
The national medical regulator has announced a sweeping review of the multibillion-dollar cosmetic surgery industry, acknowledging that a profit-driven culture had led to dangerous practices that sparked widespread concerns about patient safety (30 November 2021). More...
La Trobe Financial Asset Management to pay $750,000 penalty for false and misleading marketing
The Federal Court has ordered La Trobe Financial Asset Management to pay a $750,000 penalty for false and misleading marketing of the La Trobe Australian Credit Fund (29 November 2021). More...
Employsure to pay a penalty of $1 million for misleading Google Ads
The ACCC submitted that a penalty of $5 million was appropriate in order to send a strong deterrence message and given publication of the Google Ads over a prolonged period. The Court imposed a penalty of $1 million based on Justice Griffiths’ earlier finding that the conduct was not deliberate and did not consider that an injunction was appropriate (29 November 2021). More...
Beach Energy taken to the Federal Court by shareholders
Slater and Gordon has launched a class action against Adelaide-based oil and gas company Beach Energy on behalf of investors who incurred losses following a decline in the company’s share price. The class action alleges the energy company engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and breached its continuous disclosure obligations under the Corporations Act (26 November 2021). More...
ACCC completes investigation into Holden’s conduct towards dealers
The ACCC has decided not to pursue these concerns, in large part because any ACCC action may prejudice the private actions taken by dealers. ACCC is still assessing whether Holden’s car servicing arrangements, including Holden’s decision to end its ‘lifetime’ capped price servicing program, raise any issues under the ACL (26 November 2021). More...
Techtronic in court for alleged resale price maintenance over power tools
The ACCC alleges that, between 2015 and 2021, Techtronic engaged in RPM conduct, including by entering into 96 agreements with independent dealers and buying groups which restricted the sale of Milwaukee brand power tools below a specified minimum price, and Techtronic withheld supply from two of the dealers to enforce the restrictions on price discounting below the specified minimum price (25 November 2021). More...
Vaping advertisers and importers hit with $170,000 in fines by TGA
Since new laws commenced, websites have emerged offering to link vapers to a health practitioner authorised to prescribe the products. But the new laws only allow pharmacies and pharmacy-marketing groups to advertise in a very limited way. The TGA reminds advertisers of the recent warning not to engage in deceptive conduct. (22 November 2021). More...
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Mazda Australia Pty Ltd  FCA 1493
CONSUMER LAW – prohibition on misleading or deceptive conduct under s 18 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) – prohibition on certain false or misleading representations under s 29(1)(m) of the ACL – statutory guarantee as to acceptable quality under s 54 of the ACL – consumer’s entitlement to reject goods under s 259 of the ACL – representations made as to consumer rights under statutory guarantee provisions of the ACL – representations made as to supplier’s right to repair goods regardless of consumer’s entitlement to reject goods – representations made in the nature of opinions – whether reasonable basis existed for making representations in the nature of opinions – where supplier gave no consideration to consumers’ entitlements to a refund or replacement under the ACL – whether misleading or deceptive
CONSUMER LAW – prohibition on unconscionable conduct under s 21 of the ACL – where no allegation of “system” or “pattern” of conduct – whether respondent’s conduct unconscionable
Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) Schedule 2 ss 3, 7, 18, 18(1), 21, 22, 29(1), 29(1)(m), 54, 54(2)(c), 259, 259(2), 259(2)(b), 259(3), 259(3)(a), 260, 260(1)(a), 260(1)(c), 260(1)(e), 262, 262(1), 262(2), 263, 263(4), 263(4)(a), 263(4)(b), 263(6), Parts 3‑2, Part 5‑4, Part 5‑4 Div 1
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Employsure Pty Ltd (No 2)  FCA 1488
CONSUMER LAW – pecuniary penalties – contraventions of ss 29(1)(b) and 29(1)(h) of the Australian Consumer Law – six Google advertisements conveyed misleading or deceptive government affiliation representation – determination of appropriate penalty – consideration of course of conduct principle – pecuniary penalty of $1 million imposed
CONSUMER LAW – application for injunctive relief – where contravening conduct inadvertent and unlikely to recur
Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) Sch 2 (Australian Consumer Law) ss 18(1), 29(1)(b), 29(1)(h), 224, 232
Creative Property Holdings Pty Ltd (Trustee) v Car Parks Super Pty Ltd (Trustee)  FCA 1478
CONTRACTS – claim for specific performance of a contract for the sale of land – whether binding contract for the sale of land – whether parties intended to be bound only upon the exchange of counterparts – Eccles v Bryant and Pollock  1 Ch 93 considered and applied
CONSUMER LAW – whether by making of offer to sell land respondent engaged in conduct that was misleading and deceptive in breach of s 18 of the Australian Consumer Law
Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) Schedule 2 s 18
Australian Securities and Investments Commission v La Trobe Financial Asset Management Ltd  FCA 1417
CONSUMER LAW – misleading conduct – admitted contraventions of ss 12DA(1) and 12DB(1) of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) and s 1041H(1) of the Corporations Act 2010 (Cth) – pecuniary penalties sought by plaintiff not opposed by defendant – whether quantum of penalty appropriate – whether form of declarations appropriate
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