In the media

ACCC notified of an access dispute over charges at the Port of Newcastle
The dispute relates to the level of access charges, and access terms, set by PNO for users of the shipping channel service at the port, which was declared under Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) by the Australian Competition Tribunal in June 2016 (16 November 2016).  More...

Criminal cartel charges laid against K-Line
Criminal charges have been laid against Japanese-based company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line) in relation to alleged cartel conduct concerning the international shipping of cars, trucks, and buses to Australia between July 2009 and September 2012. This is the second matter in which criminal charges have been laid against a corporation under the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (15 November 2016).  More...

IVF 'success rate' claims under the microscope
Several major IVF clinics have made changes to claims published on their websites about success rates following an ACCC investigation into potentially false or misleading representations.  In addition, some IVF clinics used technical terms understood by industry participants but which may be misleading to consumers without further clarification or explanation (14 November 2016).  More...

ACCC court case against Woolworths puts supermarkets on notice
Woolworths' defence for demanding extra payments from suppliers is on shaky ground, according to independent legal expert. The ACCC took the supermarket business to court for unconscionable conduct in demanding 820 suppliers make millions in extra payments in the lead up to Christmas 2014. The case was heard in the Federal Court last week, and a judgement is expected in 2017 (11 November 2016).  More...

AAT stays the ASIC banning of former financial adviser for misconduct in warrants market pending review
ASIC found that Mr Spencer engaged in manipulation of the price of three types of MINI warrants issued by Credit Suisse, commonly called "MINIs". MINIs are a type of derivative product traded on the ASX (10 November 2016).  More...

ASIC consults on 'sunsetting' class orders about internet offers, hawking and PDS obligations
ASIC today released a consultation paper proposing to remake two class orders on internet offers and hawking, and to repeal a class order on PDS obligations. All three class orders are due to expire (‘sunset’) on 1 April 2017 (10 November 2016).  More...

ACCC takes contempt action against Dhruv Chopra
The ACCC alleges that Mr Chopra has breached orders made by Justice Middleton on 11 May 2015, in earlier proceedings brought by the ACCC. In those proceedings the Federal Court found that Mr Chopra, the sole operator of the online electronics store Electronic Bazaar, made false or misleading representations about the availability of refunds and the extent of Electronic Bazaar’s liability for faulty goods (09 November 2016).  More...

ACCC releases issues paper for inquiry into the Australian dairy industry
The ACCC says its dairy industry inquiry will examine competition between milk processors, contracts between processors and farmers, global supply markets, and the profitability of dairy farms (08 November 2016).  More...

ACCC raises concerns about supermarket delisting notices
Supermarkets need to improve the way they notify suppliers when delisting their products to avoid breaching the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said today at the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s forum in Canberra. The Code provides default protections to all Aldi, Coles and Woolworths suppliers as of 1 July this year (08 November 2016).  More...

VSC undertakes to help improve extended warranty selling practices
The ACCC has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Virginia Surety Company, Inc (VSC) after engaging with participants in the extended warranty industry following a review of extended warranty selling practices.  The ACCC has engaged with industry over concerns that certain marketing practices for extended warranties had the potential to mislead consumers about their true value beyond those rights and remedies already available to consumers under the ACL (08 November 2016).  More...

In practice and courts, published reports

Businesses remove unfair contract terms before new law
The ACCC’s new report into potentially unfair contract terms details its review of 46 contracts across seven industries, which resulted in a range of businesses making changes to their small business standard form contracts. The ACCC began enforcing the new law the week of Nov 12, when consumer protections against unfair contract terms were extended to include up to 2 million Australian small businesses (10 November 2016).  More...

The report, Unfair terms in small business contracts, provides an industry-by-industry breakdown of the common terms of concern identified by the ACCC following its engagement with businesses in seven industries, including advertising, telecommunications, retail leasing, independent contracting, franchising, waste management, and agriculture.

Interim consultation paper 2017-18 regulated retail electricity prices
On 10 November 2016 the Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply, the Hon Mark Bailey MP, issued the QCA with a Delegation to set regulated retail electricity prices for regional Queensland from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.  To commence the review the QCA has released an interim consultation paper (16 November 2016).  More...

ACCC: New law on unfair contract terms to provide protections for farmers and agriculture businesses
From 12 November 2016 a new law comes into place that will protect farmers and small businesses from unfair contract terms. If a farmer is concerned about the terms of a contract they have received, they should visit the ACCC website or contact the ACCC’s Agriculture Unit for information about the law.  More...

 

Contacts:

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

Sydney
Ian Robertson, National Managing Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0401
E: ian.robertson@holdingredlich.com

Brisbane
Paul Venus, Managing Partner, Brisbane
T: +71 7 3135 0613
E: paul.venus@holdingredlich.com

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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