Australia: Competition and Consumer Law - What's News - 21 July 2015

Last Updated: 25 July 2015
Article by Howard Rapke, Ian Robertson and Paul Venus

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

BCA on side with small business
BCA competition spokesman Danny Gilbert said the changes to the misuse of market power laws could discourage ordinary competitive activities by businesses, regardless of size (17 July 2015). More...

Qualcomm faces EU antitrust probes over tactics to block rivals
European Union antitrust regulators are investigating whether one of the world's biggest chipmakers, Qualcomm, uses illegal tactics to shut out rivals. One investigation will look at whether Qualcomm engaged in "predatory pricing" by charging at less than cost with a view to forcing competitors out of the market (16 July 2015). More...

Pawnbrokers charging 420 per cent interest in unregulated industry
Consumer law advocates are calling for greater regulation of the pawnbroking industry in Victoria, where low income earners and those on government benefits are charged 420 per cent interest per annum on loans they are unlikely to ever afford to repay (16 July 2015). More...

Air conditioning manufacturer accused of misleading customers after gecko damage voids warranty
A Brisbane woman has accused an air conditioning manufacturer of misleading customers after her warranty claim was rejected because of a gecko (15 July 2015). More...

Review to ensure national law continues to protect Australian consumers
Small Business Minister Bruce Billson announced Ministers for Consumer Affairs across Australia have agreed the terms of reference for the first review of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) since its introduction on 1 January 2011 (10 July 2015). More...

Toll Group to appeal to ACCC's decision to oppose NT freight assets sale to rival Sea Swift
Toll Group will appeal to the Australian Competition Tribunal the consumer watchdog's decision to oppose the sale of Toll's Northern Territory sea transport assets to rival Sea Swift. The ACCC said it would oppose the sale on the grounds it would result in less competition (09 July 2015). More...

CGU Insurance and Accident and Health International to refund $2 million in 'useless' payday insurance premiums
Following concerns raised by ASIC, CGU Insurance Limited (CGU), together with Accident and Health International Underwriting Pty Ltd (AHI) have agreed to refund consumers over $2,000,000 in payday loan consumer credit insurance (CCI) premiums and fees. The agreement follows earlier court action by ASIC against The Cash Store, in which the Federal Court found that The Cash Store had acted unconscionably in selling a payday loan CCI product (CCI product) (07 July 2015). More...

In practice and courts, published reports

Australian Consumer Law will be reviewed in 2016–2017
The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) will be reviewed for the first time since it was introduced on 1 January 2011. The review will begin in 2016, with an interim report due in the second half of 2016, and a final report due by March 2017. The review will be conducted by Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) (10 July 2015). More...

The Review Terms of Reference
The survey will assess the level of understanding by consumers and businesses of consumer laws, their application and enforcement and determine whether laws are working as intended to prevent unfair trading without unreasonably burdening businesses. The review will also examine the flexibility of the ACL to respond to new and emerging issues to ensure that it remains relevant into the future as the overarching consumer law in Australia.


Bonham v Iluka Resources Limited [2015] FCA 713
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Discovery - Preliminary discovery sought by shareholder in respect of contemplated action following a significant share price fall after publication of notice to market - prospective applicant's submissions- engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by making of future representations without reasonable grounds contrary to the Corporations Act, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) and the Australian Consumer Law , which contraventions entitle a person who suffered loss or damage by reason thereof to statutory compensation. More...

Gladio Pty Ltd v Buckworth [2015] NSWSC 922
TRADE PRACTICES – misleading and deceptive conduct – whether sale of land occurred 'in trade or commerce'. EQUITY – unconscionable dealing – where statutory unconscionability under s 21 of the Australian Consumer Law only applicable to acts 'in trade or commerce' – where general law unconscionability requires knowing exploitation of special disadvantage – where those elements not pleaded – finding of no unconscionability – relief against forfeiture sought on basis of same alleged unconscionability therefore also unavailable. Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). More...

Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd v Haddad [2015] NSWCA 186
AUSTRALIAN CONSUMER LAW – insurance contract – Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth), ss 12CA, 12CB, 12DA and 12GF – misleading or deceptive conduct by omission of information – renewal of annual home insurance policy – whether insurer's failure to invite renewal or to indicate that renewal would not be invited was misleading or deceptive conduct in circumstances where the insurer was separately dealing with insured in relation to a claim under an earlier policy – whether conduct gave rise to a reasonable expectation that the policy had been renewed or extended. 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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