In the media – National

ACCC takes action against Pastacup for alleged breaches of Franchising Code
The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Pastacup’s current franchisor Morild Pty Ltd and that company’s former director Mr Stuart Bernstein alleging breaches of the Franchising Code of Conduct. These proceedings are the first in which the ACCC has sought penalties for breaches of the Franchising Code (22 September 2016).  More...

Charles Tyrwhitt pays penalty for an alleged false or misleading ‘was/now’ pricing representation
London-based clothing manufacturer and retailer Charles Tyrwhitt LLP has paid a $10,800 penalty after being issued with an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, following an investigation into the company’s ‘was/now’ pricing practices (16 September 2016).  More...

ACCC Chairman says Northern Territory gas has potential for East Coast market
The Northern Territory has an opportunity to play a significant role in the east coast gas market according to ACCC Chairman Rod Sims. Mr Sims said the ACCC’s inquiry found pricing at a large number of pipelines on the east coast was well above competitive levels, including on a number of pipelines that gas from the NT would have to traverse to be supplied into Queensland and/or south-eastern Australia (15 September 2016).  More...

ACCC takes training company to court over alleged misleading conduct
Get Qualified Australia, a company which offered to turn people's practical life experience into a qualification, is being taken to court by the competition regulator over alleged misleading and unconscionable conduct (12 September 2016).  More...

Add-on insurance products sold by car dealers are failing consumers: ASIC
ASIC said the intention of the report was to put general insurers "on notice" that they needed to improve consumer outcomes through changes to the pricing, sale and design of add-on insurance. Examples of the products being sold to consumers purchasing new or used cars include consumer credit insurance, tyre and rim insurance, gap insurance and mechanical breakdown (12 September 2016).  More...

Chemmart agrees to improve its promotion of “myDNA” tests
The ACCC has accepted an administrative undertaking on behalf of Chemmart. The ACCC was concerned that statements in Chemmart’s catalogues, television infomercials, in-store brochures and other promotional materials about the myDNA test risked conveying a false or misleading impression regarding the usefulness of the genetic test, and the consumers for whom it may be appropriate (12 September 2016).  More...

In practice and courts, published reports

Government releases exposure draft of Harper competition reform bill
The Government released an exposure draft of the Harper reform bill on 05 September 2016. See Treasury page. Submissions are due by 30 September 2016.  See further at: Exposure Draft and Explanatory Material. Treasury is conducting a consultation on the Exposure Draft Bill relating to the recommendations made by the Harper Panel in 2015. The Exposure Draft bill was released on 5 September 2016 and consultation closes on 30 September 2016. The Treasury website notes that the draft includes “...amendments to the misuse of power provision, as well as a significant number of other important amendments to the CCA which were supported by the Government”.  More...

Guidelines on its use of mandatory information gathering powers
The ACCC has published updated guidelines on its use of mandatory information gathering powers, following the release of the Harper exposure draft legislation. To help people unravel confusion about their rights and obligations when it comes to Section 155 Notices, the ACCC has supplemented its guidelines with a basic guide for individuals and small businesses. The basic guide has handy FAQs and examples along with suggestions about the steps to take if you receive a notice.

ACCC: issues paper for communications sector market study
The paper calls for comment on a range of matters that may affect competition, the efficient operation of markets, and investment incentives over the next five years and beyond. Submissions are invited until 14 October 2016. The issues paper and further information on the market study is available at: Communications sector market studyMore...

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...

Cases

P-Value Pty Ltd v Willliam McNee & Ors [2016] VSCA 223
TRADE PRACTICES – Misleading or deceptive conduct – Purchase of commercial property – Representations as to prior offer and as to tenant being a good tenant and paying rent under lease – Reliance concerning payment of rent – Dishonesty – Non-disclosure of agreement between vendors and tenant that excused the paying of rent – Causation – Damages – Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) ss 52, 82 – Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic) ss 9, 159.

Legislation

Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Bill 2016 [Exposure Draft]
This draft contains significant amendments to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the CCA). See the Exposure Draft.  Status: Open Runs from 5 Sep 2016 to 30 Sep 2016.

Competition and Consumer Amendment (Country of Origin) Bill 2016
Referred to Committee (15/09/2016): Senate Economics Legislation Committee; Report due 10/10/2016 - The Bill amends the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) (Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010) to alter the definition of substantial transformation as it applies to the safe harbour provisions of the ACL. This Bill complements the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 (Information Standard) (made under the ACL) which came into effect on 1 July 2016.  

 

Contact:

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

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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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