Australia: Competition and Consumer Law - What's News - 16 March 2015

Last Updated: 28 April 2015
Article by Howard Rapke, Ian Robertson and Paul Venus

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Upfront commissions compromise quality of financial advice: ASIC
When the corporate regulator did a survey of financial advice about life insurance all the headlines were around the quality of that advice. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) found that where there was an upfront commission, 40 per cent of advice given did not put the client's needs first (12 March 2015). More...

Senate Economics Committee recommends s 46 divestiture bill not be passed
A couple of weeks ago Senate Economics Legislation Committee released its report on the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Bill 2014. The bill was introduced, last year and would have introduced a divestiture remedy for contraventions of the misuse of market power provision. The Committee (Senator Xenophon dissenting) recommended that the Senate not pass the bill (12 March 2015). More...

Extending the truth on warranties
NSW Fair Trading Minister Matthew Mason-Cox has warned retailers to stop overselling the virtues of extended warranties, when the reality is that they often offer little value to consumers. The facts are that consumers have rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), with or without an extended warranty (06 March 2015). More...

AAMI Pays $20,400 penalty for misleading car insurance advertising
ASIC was concerned that the representations were false or misleading because they were likely to give the impression that savings could be achieved by consumers if they switched their car insurance from their current insurer to AAMI (06 March 2015). More...

ACCC targets alleged false and misleading Nurofen claims
The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Reckitt Benckiser (Australia) Pty Ltd (Reckitt Benckiser), alleging that it made false or misleading claims that its Nurofen Specific Pain Products were each formulated to treat a specific kind of pain, when the products are identical (05 March 2015). More...

UK online gambling giant Bet365 being sued by ACCC over 'misleading representations'
A UK online gambling giant has been taken to court by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which says it breached consumer law and made "misleading representations" to customers (05 March 2015). More...

Coordinated investigation results in ACCC taking action against We Buy Houses and Rick Otton regarding property strategies. Following a coordinated investigation with the New South Wales Fair Trading (Following a coordinated investigation with the New South Wales Fair Trading (Following a coordinated investigation with the New South Wales Fair Trading (03 March 2015). More...

iiNet Limited pays $204,000 in penalties following ACCC infringement notices for Naked Broadband Plan advertisements
The infringement notices were issued because the ACCC had reasonable grounds to believe that iiNet's advertisements contravened the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by failing to prominently state the total minimum price of the service (03 March 2015). More...

New rights for food and grocery suppliers
The voluntary code prohibits specific types of unfair conduct by retailers and wholesalers in their dealings with suppliers and provides a clearer framework for these dealings. It complements existing protections for suppliers under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, including the unconscionable conduct provisions (02 March 2014). More...

Equanimity penalised for misleading ads
Gold Coast-based financial planning and property management company, Equanimity Concepts Pty Ltd, has paid $30,600 in penalties for false or misleading advertising. The ads for financing options for home loans ran on Equanimity's website, on YouTube, in in-flight magazines for Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin, and in police journals for more than two years (04 March 2015). More...

Allianz agrees to refund $400K in 'useless' payday insurance premiums
Following concerns raised by the ASIC Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd (Allianz) has agreed to refund consumers $400,016 in insurance premiums. The agreement follows earlier court action by ASIC against TCS, in which the Federal Court found that TCS had acted unconscionably in selling a consumer credit insurance (CCI) product (03 March 2015). More...

In practice and courts, published reports

ACCC issues ACCCount for December quarter 2014
The December 2014 quarter saw strong enforcement outcomes along with action to improve consumer welfare, protect competition and put a stop to conduct which is anti-competitive or harmful to Australians. Highlights for the quarter include: responding to over 59 000 complaints and inquiries from businesses and consumers; securing over $19 million in penalties for breaches of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) (03 March 2015). More...


Orchid Avenue Pty Ltd v Hingston & Anor [2015] QSC 042
CONTRACTS – DISCHARGE, BREACH AND DEFENCES TO ACTION FOR BREACH – REPUDIATION AND NON-PERFORMANCE – where the plaintiff and defendant entered into a contract for the sale of an apartment "off the plan" and an additional contract for sale of furniture for the apartment – completion to be after registration of the relevant plan and creation of separate title for the apartment –– where the plaintiffs registered the plan, created a separate title and settlement became due – where the defendant refused to complete the contract, having purported to terminate – where the plaintiff claimed damages for breach of contract. TRADE AND COMMERCE – COMPETITION, FAIR TRADING AND CONSUMER PROTECTION LEGISLATION – CONSUMER PROTECTION – MISLEADING OR DECEPTIVE CONDUCT OR FALSE REPRESENTATIONS – where the parties entered into a contract for the sale of an apartment "off the plan" – where the defendants alleged that the plaintiff engaged in conduct which contravened s 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) 'TPA'– where the defendants claimed they were induced to enter the contract and relied on misrepresentations made by the plaintiff that the views from the apartment would be unobstructed by any other building – where the defendants claimed relief under s 87 of the TPA. More...

Craven v Ready Flowers Pty Ltd & Anor [2015] FCCA 538
TRADE PRACTICES – Misleading or deceptive conduct – Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) – internet retail website. CONSUMER LAW – Misleading or deceptive conduct – Australian Consumer Law – Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). 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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