Australia: Competition & Consumer Law News – 29 August 2017

Last Updated: 1 September 2017
Article by Howard Rapke, Ian Robertson and Paul Venus

Most Read Contributor in Australia, August 2018

In the media

Commonwealth to introduce Misuse of Market Power "Effects Test"
The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Act 2017 (Cth) (the Act) was assented to on 23 August 2017. The Act introduces a so-called "effects test" into section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), which was recommended by the Harper review into Australia's competition framework. The Act will commence at the same time as Schedule 1 to the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Act, which is currently still at bill stage and is being considered in Parliament. If the Bill does not pass, the provisions in the Act will not commence (24 August 2017). More...

Competition regulator's economy-wide focus
Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development (CEDA) WA event, Mr Sims discussed the ACCC's inquiry into the financial sector, the energy affordability crisis facing Australia's east coast, the "game changing" approach to broadband advertising he hopes will reform the telco industry; the changes needed to help new car buyers exercise their rights, the agency's focus on cartel activity; and the need for appropriate regulation before privatising monopoly assets (24 August 2017). More... More....

ACCC issues SOI on proposed acquisition of OfficeMax
The ACCC has issued a Statement of Issues in relation to Platinum Equity's proposed acquisition of OfficeMax Australia. It has indicated its 'primary concern is that the loss of competition between Staples and OfficeMax could result in higher prices and lower levels of service'. Interested parties have until 7 September to make submissions; a final decision is expected on 16 November 2017 (24 August 2017). (ACCC media release) More... (merger register) More...

BlueScope is being investigated, its CEO has resigned and shares are down 20%
The company also announced that it was the subject of a regulatory investigation. BlueScope's contingent liabilities note in its 2017 financial statements: "Over the last financial year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been investigating potential cartel conduct by BlueScope relating to the supply of steel products in Australia, that involved a small number of BlueScope employees in the period from late 2013 to mid-2014. BlueScope has co-operated, and continues to co-operate, with the ACCC's investigation." (21 August 2017). More...

ACCC v We Buy Houses Pty Ltd [2017] FCA 915: Company Director Found Guilty of making False or Misleading Representations
In the recent case of ACCC v We Buy Houses Pty Ltd [2017] FCA 915 (11 August 2017), the Federal Court has found that We Buy Houses Pty Ltd and its sole director, Mr Otton, made false or misleading representations in promoting a number of wealth creation strategies involving real estate (18 August 2017). More...

Strengthened competition law to benefit Aussie small businesses and consumers
The Turnbull Government has legislated significant amendments to strengthen Australia's competition law providing greater protections for small businesses and more choice for consumers by boosting innovation and opening new markets. The amendments implement a key recommendation of the Harper Competition Policy Review to strengthen section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, also known as the misuse of market power provision. The Harper Review found the misuse of market power law was not reliably enforceable and did not effectively target and deter anti-competitive conduct (15 August 2017). More...

Boosting competition in banking
The Turnbull Government welcomes the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority's (APRA) release today of the discussion paper on a phased approach to licensing new entrants to the banking industry. As announced at the 2017 Budget, the Government supports the implementation of a phased APRA licensing system to encourage new and innovative providers (15 August 2017). More...

ACCC takes action to enforce $50,000 penalty
The ACCC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against Mr Tuan Nguyen to enforce payment of a $50,000 penalty previously ordered for breaches of consumer law. In 2013, the Court found that Mr Nguyen was knowingly concerned in false or misleading representations made by Artorios Ink to five small businesses to sell printer cartridges. The Court ordered Mr Nguyen to pay a penalty of $50,000 but he made no payments and filed for bankruptcy (14 August 2017). More...

In practice and courts, published reports

Independent review into the electricity and gas retail markets in Victoria: final report
John Thwaites, Patricia Faulkner, Terry Mulder; Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Vic): 13 August 2017
When competition was introduced into Victoria's retail energy market in 2002, it was anticipated to generate consumer benefits through lower costs of supply and innovative product development. It was expected that low barriers to entry would attract new competitors and reduce the commercial. More....

Broadband speed claims: industry guidance
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission: 21 August 2017
The ACCC is providing more detailed guidance concerning how to implement its principles for advertising the speeds of retail fixed-line broadband plans. This guide has been prepared in consultation with network operators, retail service providers (RSPs) and consumer representatives. More...

Australia's dairy industry: rebuilding trust and a fair market for farmers
Senate Economics References Committee: 17 August 2017
On 14 September 2016, the Senate referred an inquiry into the Australian dairy industry to the Senate Economics References Committee for report by 24 February 2017, in order to establish a fair, long-term solution to Australia's dairy crisis, with particular reference to fresh milk security, the legality of retrospective elements of milk contracts; the behaviour of Murray Goulburn; and any other related matters. More...

Cases

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v We Buy Houses Pty Ltd [2017] FCA 915
CONSUMER LAW – misleading or deceptive conduct – alleged breaches of ss 18, 29(1)(e), (f) and (g), 34 and 37 of the Australian Consumer Law – where alleged that the respondents represented that the respondents could teach consumers how to buy a house for $1, and/or without a deposit or a bank loan, and/or with little or none of the consumer's money, and/or generate income and profit by dealing with property in various ways – alleged representation that first respondent had been successful in real estate by using the advertised methods – where representations made in a book, on several websites, at free seminars and in various training courses – whether alleged representations were made out – whether mere puffery – whether representations as to future matters – application of s 4 of the Australian Consumer Law – whether there were reasonable grounds for making of the representations – whether first respondent was directly or indirectly, knowingly concerned in, or party to, contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law by the second respondent – contraventions found. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – leave sought to rely on amended version of statement of claim served during trial – leave refused.

Dargan Financial Pty Ltd ATF the Dargan Financial Discretionary Trust (trading under Home Loan Experts) v Nassif Isaac [2017] NSWSC 1077
CONTRACTS — general contractual principles — construction and interpretation of contracts.
EQUITY — Breach of confidence — Necessary quality of confidence — Material in public domain.
TRADE AND COMMERCE — restraints of trade — reasonableness of restraint — cartel provisions.
A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth); Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth); Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).

Chandra Hasan Yuvarajah v Mercedes-Benz AustraliaPacific Pty Ltd (Civil Claims) [2017] VCAT 1296
Motor vehicle; Australian Consumer Law s54 acceptable quality; s55 fitness for purpose; s59 express warranties; s260 major failure; s278 linked credit provider. The applicant adduced no evidence in respect of any representation or any misleading or deceptive conduct by the first respondent about the car. Findings: the applicant has not established that the first respondent contravened section 18 of the ACL by engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Ian Robertson
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions