Australia: Competition and Consumer Law - What's News - 31 August 2015

In the media

Former franchisees battle service station giant United Petroleum
Three former United Petroleum franchisees are launching legal action against the service station giant, claiming they have been unfairly forced out of their businesses (30 August 2015). More...

ACCC applies for special leave to appeal to the High Court from the Full Federal Court Flight Centre judgment
The ACCC is seeking special leave of the High Court to appeal the decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia handed down on 31 July 2015, in relation to allegations that Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (Flight Centre) attempted to induce three international airlines to enter into price fixing arrangements (28 August 2015). More...

Lux ordered to pay $370,000 penalty for unconscionable conduct
The Federal Court has ordered Lux Distributors Pty Ltd (Lux) pay pecuniary penalties totalling $370,000 for engaging in unconscionable conduct, in proceedings brought by the ACCC. The Full Court noted in its judgment in 2013 that consumer protection laws reinforce societal values and expectations that consumers will be dealt with honestly and fairly, and without deception (24 August 2015). More...

Federal Court penalises retailer $17 500 for Resale Price Maintenance
The FCA has ordered Omniblend Australia Pty Ltd (Omniblend), an online retailer of kitchen appliances including Omniblend blenders, to pay a pecuniary penalty of $17 500 for aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring an overseas supplier, Taiwan Star International (TSI), to engage in resale price maintenance (20 August 2015). More... More...

ACCC acts on Conroys "Product of Australia" misrepresentation
Conroys Pty Ltd (Conroys) has paid a penalty of $10,200 following the issue of an infringement notice by the ACCC. The ACCC issued the infringement notice because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Conroys made a false or misleading representation about the place of origin of its Breakfast Bacon – 1kg (the Bacon Product) in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) (20 August 2015). More...

IBM 'negligent and misleading', Queensland alleges
The Queensland government has accused technology giant IBM of misrepresenting its credentials in delivering a $6 million payroll system that cost $1.2 billion to fix. The Queensland government is attempting to sue IBM not for breach of contract, but for what it alleges was IBM's falsely representing its credentials before the 2007 deal which it says is a breach of the Trade Practices Act (20 August 2015). More...

In practice and courts, published reports

Speech: Kate Carnell AO, Restoring Australia's Competitiveness
CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kate Carnell AO address to The Sydney Institute, discusses Restoring Australia's Competitiveness (18 August 2015). More...

Cases

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Lux Distributors Pty Ltd (No 2) [2015] FCA 903
COMPETITION – Unconscionable conduct - Contraventions of s 51AB of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) and s 21 of the Australian Consumer Law – Penalties – Relevant factors considered in determining a just and appropriate penalty. Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) Sch 2, ss 21, 224 of the Australian Consumer Law. Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic) ss 62B, 62E; Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) 51AB, 76E. More...

Anchorage Capital Partners Pty Limited v ACPA Pty Ltd [2015] FCA 882
TRADE MARKS – claims for infringement of trade marks – whether respondents' use trade mark use – whether good faith defence open to respondents – whether applicant owner of trade marks – whether prior use established – whether any relevant illegality existed to defeat any prior use of respondents – matters relevant to discretion to remove trade marks from register. CONSUMER LAW – whether respondents engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by using certain names. TORTS – passing off – whether respondents' conduct constituted passing off. This is an intellectual property case about two firms with a very similar name, and financial service industry. More...

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v OmniBlend Australia Pty Ltd [2015] FCA 871
COMPETITION – resale price maintenance – ss 48 and 96 of Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) – assessment of penalties – accessorial liability. Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) ss 5(2), 44ZZRJ, 48, 76, 80(1)(c), 84(2)(a) and 96.Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) s 191. More...

CPA Australia v Storai [2015] VSC 442
COMPETITION AND CONSUMER LAW – unconscionable conduct – operation of complaint and discipline system of accountancy body – whether involved supply of 'services' - whether any services supplied 'in trade or commerce' – appeal – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal declaration of fair-trading jurisdiction in relation to operation of system – whether an error of law – Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), Sch 2 (the Australian Consumer Law), s 21(1), Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) s 148(1). 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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Authors
Ian Robertson
 
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