Australia: Competition and Consumer Law - What's News - 17 February 2015

Last Updated: 24 February 2015
Article by Howard Rapke, Ian Robertson and Paul Venus

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Over a hundred Australian foreign exchange traders fight to avoid millions in losses
A number of clients of the US-based foreign exchange broker, Foreign Exchange Capital Markets (FXCM), the world's largest retail forex broker, have reported their cases to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (12 February 2015). More...

Simply Energy pays $20,400 penalty for alleged misleading door-to-door sales
IPower Pty Limited (IPower) has paid a penalty of $20,400 following the issue of two infringement notices by the ACCC for alleged misleading door-to-door sales conduct. It is alleged that the sales representatives told the consumers that there was an 'urgent problem' or 'something wrong' with their existing electricity supply, when this was not the case (11 February 2015). More...

Origin Companies ordered to pay penalties of $325,000 for misleading consumers about discounts under energy plans
The Federal Court of Australia has ordered by consent that Origin Energy Limited and two of its subsidiaries (Origin) pay penalties totalling $325,000 for contravening the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by making false or misleading representations concerning the level of discount that residential consumers in South Australia would receive under a DailySaver energy plan (10 February 2015). More...

Nimble's "smart little loans": smoking for your financial health
In terms of their pricing structure, they charge "20 per cent of the principal, plus 4 per cent of the principal per month", which is the most allowed under Australian law for a small amount credit contract. Nimble co-founder Greg Ellis said his company was created to fight "predatory" payday lending (11 February 2015). More...

Small brewers locked out of pubs by big corporates: Choice
Australian boutique brewers have long complained that they are getting squeezed out of the market by anti-competitive tactics from their big rivals (11 February 2015). More... More...

ASIC concerns prompt national warranty company to remove a potentially misleading representation
The National Warranty Company (NWC) has agreed to remove statements on its website that implied that being regulated and licensed by ASIC would assist future claims by consumers. ASIC has provided previous guidance to assist licensees comply with their legal obligations with respect to avoiding false or misleading statements and misleading or deceptive conduct, including specific guidance (03 February 2015). More...


Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Origin Energy Limited [2015] FCA 55
CONSUMER LAW – Penalty hearing – admitted contraventions – whether agreed orders sought by the parties appropriate in the circumstances – pecuniary penalties - false or misleading representation with respect to the price of electricity and natural gas - Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) Sch 2 (Australian Consumer Law) ss 29, 224; Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) ss 76, 76E. More...

Facton Ltd v Xu [2015] FCA 66
TRADE PRACTICES – whether second respondent engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in contravention of ss 42 and 44 of Fair Trading Act 1987 and ss 18 and 29 of Australian Consumer Law – whether second respondent involved in contraventions of ss 52 and 53 of Trade Practices Act 1974 for purposes of s 75B. TORT – passing off – whether second respondent passed off business as having sponsorship, approval or connection with the applicants – whether second respondent passed off counterfeit products as genuine products. Australian Consumer Law (Sch 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)) ss 18, 29. More...

Electrolux Home Products Pty Ltd v Delap Impex KFT [2015] FCA 62
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – default judgment – operation of r 5.23(2)(c) of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth). CONSUMER LAW – misleading or deceptive conduct under s 18 of the Australian Consumer Law – warranty not compliant with s 102 of the Australian Consumer Law – non-compliance with safety standards under s 106 of the Australian Consumer Law – knowing participation in contravention – remedies – injunctions – when appropriate. TRADE MARKS – importing and offering for sale in Australia goods bearing trade mark – infringement action brought by authorised user under s 120 of the Trade Marks Act – consent of registered owner. More...

Homemakers North Pty Ltd v MJM Investments Australia Pty Ltd & Anor [2015] QDC 016
Summary judgment – alternatively, striking out part of pleading – "involved" in misleading or deceptive conduct – "knowingly concerned"- claim against Muchow is that he was "involved in a contravention" by MJM of s18 in Schedule 2, containing the Australian Consumer Law , to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) prohibiting misleading or deceptive conduct. More...


The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Australian Country of Origin Food Labelling) Bill 2015
This Bill implements important reforms to the designation and regulation of country of origin labelling for food in Australia. This Bill mirrors one introduced in 2013, which lapsed at the end of theof the 43rd Parliament. There are two key parts to the amendments put forward in this Bill. The first enacts Recommendation 41 of the Blewett Review, by creating a specific section in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Competition and Consumer Act) that deals solely with country of origin claims with regard to food. The new provisions create a single regulatory regime for most kinds of unpackaged and packaged food, retaining mandatory labelling requirements, but superseding the country of origin labelling requirements currently in the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991. The second part of this Bill enacts recommendations arising from the Senate inquiry into Senator Milne's private senator's Bill, the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Australian Food Labelling) Bill 2012. These amendments extend country of origin food labelling requirements to all packaged and unpackaged food for retail sale and clarify and restrict the range of labelling (and the meaning of key terms in country of origin labelling) to three kinds of claim. These changes simplify the system and provide greater transparency for consumers. 12/02/2015 Senate: Introduced (Senators Milne and Xenophon) and Second Reading Moved. More...

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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Ian Robertson
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