In the media

Complaint lodged against ticket reseller sites for misleading conduct

Ticketmaster Resale and Viagogo are the subject of complaints lodged by Choice Magazine to the ACCC over misleading and deceptive conduct after the consumer advocate found some events were marked up by resellers as much as 374 per cent (08 March 2017). More...

ACCC takes action against Audi over diesel emission claims

The ACCC alleges that Audi AG and Audi Australia engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, made false or misleading representations and engaged in conduct liable to mislead the public in relation to certain diesel vehicle emission claims, and that VWAG was knowingly concerned in this conduct (08 March 2017). More...

ACCC denies authorisation for insurance companies to jointly set a cap on sales commissions

The ACCC has said while insurers would benefit from a cap at the expense of car dealers, this conduct is likely to lessen competition between insurers, including by creating greater opportunities for explicit or tacit collusion and greater shared knowledge between insurers of competitors’ costs (07 March 2017). More...

Demand for data driving changes in telco market

The annual reports find that competition is proving resilient to industry consolidation and the transition to new cost structures. The ACCC also welcomes progress on pro-competitive structural reform. The telecommunications sector will be a key focus of the ACCC 2017. The ACCC is currently working with industry and government to improve broadband speed claims and a market study which will examine existing or emerging competition and consumer issues in the sector (link). The ACCC Telecommunications Reports for 2015-16 are available on the ACCC website. More...

Jetstar and Virgin to pay penalties for misleading ‘drip pricing’ practices

The Federal Court has ordered Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd (Jetstar) to pay a $545,000 penalty and Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd (Virgin) to pay a $200,000 penalty for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law. Virgin was found to have made false or misleading representations about specific advertised airfares on its mobile site in 2014 (07 March 2017). More...

US giant, Valve Corporation, fined $US2 million for its no refund policy

Since 2014, the ACCC has been prosecuting US company Valve Corporation, which operates the well-known online game distribution network called ‘Steam’. In this case, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Valve Corporation (No 7) [2016] FCA 1553, the ACCC claimed that Valve had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and made false representations in breach of the ACL. This breach was due to Valve’s no refund and exclusion of liability policies which did not take into account the ACL’s consumer guarantees, and apply to software as a ‘good’ under the ACL. The significance of the litigation is that Valve, a US company with no personnel in Australia, was found by the Federal Court to be subject to the ACL. More...

ACCC cross-appeals Valve Federal Court judgment

The ACCC has filed a cross-appeal in relation to two findings in a Federal Court decision on false or misleading representations made by Valve to Australian consumers about consumer guarantees via its online gaming platform, Steam, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law (07 March 2017). More...

Hoyt's Food pays $10,800 penalty for alleged false and misleading 'Oregano' representations

Hoyt Food Manufacturing Industries Pty Limited (Hoyt’s Food) has paid a penalty of $10,800 following the issue of an infringement notice by the ACCC, because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Hoyt’s Food had made false or misleading representations in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law, after it tested the composition of a sample from a batch of the 25g net variety of “Hoyt’s Oregano Leaves rubbed” (batch number 28615) (07 March 2017). More...

ACCC calls for greater transparency to assist farmers in the cattle and beef sector

Changes are needed to improve transparency and competitiveness in Australia’s cattle and beef markets, with an ACCC study highlighting shortcomings in price reporting, a lack of trust in the carcase grading system, and concerns about anti-competitive conduct affecting competition in cattle and beef sales. The ACCC was also concerned about suggestions of anti-competitive conduct that emerged during the market study (07 March 2017). The final report makes 15 recommendations, which the ACCC believes will improve transparency, competition and efficiency in the industry”. More...

PT Garuda Indonesia / Air NZ High Court appeal

The High Court has heard appeals in PT Garuda Indonesia v ACCC and Air NZ v ACCC. A key issue revolves around the meaning of market 'in Australia'. The appeal documents as well as audio-visual recordings of the appeal can be found on the High Court website.

New laws on underquoting

The Victorian Government is introducing changes to the Estate Agents Act 1980 to strengthen underquoting laws in Victoria (02 March 2017). More...

Former real estate agent imprisoned for gambling trust account money

A former Inala real estate agent was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment by the Brisbane Magistrates Court today (3 March 2017), following an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation. The Court heard Mr Chau misappropriated a total of $237,503.90 in trust money (03 March 2017). More...

Cases

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v P T Garuda Indonesia Ltd [2016] FCAFC 42

Hearing 02/03/2017 - Competition – Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) – Price fixing – s 4E of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) – Meaning of a market “in Australia” – Whether markets for airborne cargo out of Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia to ports in Australia were markets “in Australia”.

Wilmar Sugar Australia Limited v Mackay Sugar Limited [2017] FCAFC 40

Appeal allowed. CORPORATIONS – oppression – Queensland sugar industry – whether primary judge erred in determining that amendments to Constitution were not oppressive to, unfairly prejudicial to or unfairly discriminatory against a member. Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) ss 232 – 233; Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth); Sugar Industry (Real Choice in Marketing) Amendment Act 2015 (Qld). 

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Jetstar Airways Pty Limited (No 2) [2017] FCA 205

CONSUMER LAW – remedies for a contravention of ss 18, 29(1)(i) and 29(1)(m) of the Australian Consumer Law – declarations made – no injunctive relief granted as the grant of such relief became unnecessary – pecuniary penalties totalling $545,000 imposed – proceeding otherwise dismissed with no orders as to costs. Australian Consumer Law, ss 18, 29(1)(i), 29(1)(m) and 224.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd (No 2) [2017] FCA 204

CONSUMER LAW – remedies for a contravention of ss 18, 29(1)(i) and 29(1)(m) of the Australian Consumer Law – declaration made – no injunctive relief granted as claim for such relief was abandoned by the applicant and, in any event, the grant of such relief became unnecessary – agreed pecuniary penalty of $200,000 imposed – proceeding otherwise dismissed with no orders as to costs. Australian Consumer Law, ss 18, 29(1)(i), 29(1)(m) and 224; Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth).

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Harrison (No 2) [2017] FCA 182

CONSUMER LAW – unconscionable conduct in trade or commerce – form of relief. Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), Sch 2, Australian Consumer Law, ss 21, 50, 137H, 224, 232, 239, 240, 241, 243, 246, 248; Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth), ss 43, 50.

Peter Luscombe Ward v Youfa Xiang [2017] NSWCA 39

TRADE PRACTICES – misleading or deceptive conduct – appeal from decision of primary judge finding representations were made and relied upon – where appellant misrepresented operations of the business to potential investor – whether appellant engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct – where representations were made through a third party – whether the representations were relied upon by the plaintiff.

 

Contacts:
Melbourne
Howard Rapke, Managing Partner, Melbourne
T: +61 3 9321 9752
 
Sydney
Ian Robertson, National Managing Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0401
 
Brisbane
Paul Venus, Managing Partner, Brisbane
T: +71 7 3135 0613
 
Disclaimer
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources. 

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