Just before Christmas last year Wigney J dismissed a cartel case in which the ACCC alleged that Cussons (and the other major laundry detergent manufacturers) had colluded when they simultaneously transitioned all their detergent products from a standard formula to an ‘ultra-concentrated’ formula (with concomitant repackaging and re-pricing). The case is on appeal.
Category: Competition and Consumer Law
The Federal Court found that the manufacturer of Nurofen had breached the Australian Consumer Law in a decision that emphasises the importance of an adequate scientific basis when engaging in comparative advertising of a scientific nature.
On 25 July 2017, the Federal Court ordered an egg supplier to pay a pecuniary penalty of $750,000 for falsely advertising eggs as “free range” and for engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct in so doing.
The Federal Court found that three online retailers and their directors had engaged in “serious” contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law for misleading Australian consumers as to the health benefits of e-cigarettes in three separate decisions that emphasise the importance of cooperation as a mitigating factor.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v The Joystick Company Pty Ltd, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Social-Lites Pty Ltd, and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Burden  FCA 397,  FCA 398, and  FCA 399
The Federal Court ordered an American video game giant to pay a $3 million penalty for misleading Australian consumers in a decision that sends a strong message to overseas traders to comply with the Australian Consumer Law.
The Commonwealth parliament is in the process of passing a law in relation to concerted practices, largely following the Harper Review recommendations on that topic. Was that wise?
Edelman J’s decision in ACCC v Chrisco Hampers  FCA 1204 provides guidance on how courts will approach the unfair contract term provsions of the ACL.
“Bad call”: Non-disclosure by franchisor of franchisee wage costs
In ACCC v RL Adams, Justice Edelman warned future defendants of an increase in the quantum of penalties that may be ordered for misleading or deceptive conduct in ‘free range’ claims. Defendants may face multiple contraventions and be subject to far greater fines to stem the tide of false ‘free range’ advertising.
In two similar cases, the Full Court of the Federal Court has clarified the analysis of competition between a producer who retails its own product and brokers or agents who retail that product and the products of the firm’s competitors.
The ACCC recently won a resounding victory against Coles in an action for statutory unconscionability. Coles is one of the two large supermarket retailers in Australia. Now the ACCC’s sights are set on the other large retailer: Woolworths.
The Commonwealth government’s ‘root and branch’ review of Australia’s competition laws has reached the half-way mark. Proposed reform of section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 is especially controversial.
ACCC v Informed Sources (Australia) Pty Ltd & Ors VID450/2014 – In August this year the ACCC launched Federal Court proceedings against retail petrol suppliers. The case is an important test of the application of Australia’s competition laws to ‘tacit collusion’. The ACCC has to date had minimal success in this area.
The Privacy Commissioner has recently determined that AeroCare Pty Ltd (Aerocare) breached the privacy of a blind airline passenger when asking a range of questions to the passenger regarding his medical condition, in front of the complainant’s sighted guide and various passengers in the departure lounge at the Sunshine Coast airport.