iSelect’s $8.5 Million Fine

iSelect’s $8.5 Million Fine

Uncategorized
The Federal Court of Australia has ordered that iSelect pay $8.5 million in penalties for making false or misleading representations about its electricity comparison services. iSelect Limited admitted that between November 2006 and December 2018 it misled consumers by representing that it would compare all electricity plans offered by its partners and recommend the most suitable or competitive plan when this was not the case. The commercial agreements that iSelect Limited had in place with its partner electricity retailers restricted the number of electricity plans those retailers could upload onto the comparator system, and therefore the plans recommended to consumers were not necessarily the most suitable or competitive. “iSelect was not upfront with consumers that it wasn’t comparing all plans offered by its partner retailers. In fact, about 38 per…
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ACCC Gas Inquiry April 2018 Interim Report

Consumer
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter.  The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released its third interim report in relation to gas supply arrangements in Australia; Gas Inquiry April 2018 Interim Report (the report). The report covers three topics: an update on gas prices, which confirms the recent fall in gas commodity price offers for 2018 and 2019 and that prices struck under gas supply agreements (GSAs) remain generally higher in the Southern States than in Queensland; the ACCC decision to publish on its website an LNG netback price series to improve gas price transparency and assist commercial and industrial (C&I) users in negotiating for gas supply; and the ACCC assessment of new reporting in relation to transportation services for non-scheme pipelines, which questions whether early information on standing offers…
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Unfair contract terms

Unfair contract terms

Consumer, Uncategorized
UPDATE: In the JJ Richards matter the Federal Court has declared by consent that eight of the terms in the contract were unfair contract terms. The unfair terms are set out below. See ACCC MR 176/17 The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recently instituted two proceedings in relation to unfair contract terms. These are the first proceedings instituted by the ACCC under the new laws that protect small businesses from unfair contract terms. JJ Richards JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd is one of the largest waste management companies in Australia. The unfair terms: binding customers to subsequent contracts unless they cancel the contract within 30 days before the end of the term; allowing JJ Richards to unilaterally increase its prices; removing any liability for JJ Richards where its performance…
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Understanding ‘Markets’ in Australian Competition Law: The Recent High Court Decision

Understanding ‘Markets’ in Australian Competition Law: The Recent High Court Decision

Uncategorized
On 14 June 2017, the High Court of Australia delivered its decision in Air New Zealand Ltd v ACCC; Pt Garuda Indonesia Ltd v ACCC [2017] HCA 21. In this case the court confirmed an expansive definition of what it is to be a ‘market in Australia’, in respect of cartel or price-fixing behaviour. By Dr. Drew Donnelly, Compliance Quarter Today we summarise the decision, and suggest what the implications of this expansive approach to ‘markets’ could be. This is the first part of a two-piece series on developments in competition law in Australia.   Background to the case In 2009 and 2010, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) commenced proceedings against Air New Zealand and Garuda, claiming that they had engaged in price-fixing for surcharges on air cargo. The…
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Budget 2017 and financial services: an opening for the minnows and a warning for the sharks

Budget 2017 and financial services: an opening for the minnows and a warning for the sharks

Uncategorized
Last week we talked about the Government’s new rules for temporary working visas. On 9 May, the release of Federal Budget 2017, the Government filled in some key details of this initiative – including the hefty new levy of $1200 to $1800 (depending on the size of the business) for each temporary visa sponsored. This money will go into a ‘Skilling Australians’ fund which a state or territory government will be able to draw on in training new apprentices. Today we want to clarify a host of changes that have been announced for the financial services sector. In Budget 2017, the Government signalled reform of the financial services sector, especially increased competition, as a key lever for strengthening the Australian economy. Below we highlight four key changes that should make…
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