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Consequences of not “fixing” a price for a “fixed” term energy contract - Jun 2015

In December 2014, Justice White of the Federal Court made a finding that AGL South Australia Pty Ltd made false or misleading representations and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). In late April 2015, his Honour delivered his judgment and made orders on the penalty to be awarded against AGL SA. Associate, Tania Maystrenko reviews the decision.

Sellers Beware – Price List Increase misrepresentations result in $520,000 pecuniary penalty - Jun 2015

In April, the ACCC successfully obtained orders, including an injunction, the payment of pecuniary penalties, the publishing of a notice in The Australian newspaper, and the establishment of a compliance program against Actrol Parts Pty Limited (Actrol) in relation to representations made by Actrol when notifying customers of price increases. Partner, Anne Freeman reviews the decision.

Which “effects test” for section 46: Europe, USA, or Australia? - May 2015

The Competition Policy Review’s final report delivered in March 2015 recommends that section 46 should be amended to introduce an “effects” test in line with overseas jurisdictions, and abandons the earlier draft recommendation of a new defence for conduct that is in the long-term interests of consumers.  The final report acknowledges in an appendix that corresponding provisions in the USA and Europe differ regarding “effects” of unilateral dominant firm conduct. Consultant, George Raitt discusses the differing approaches in the USA and Europe, and whether the recommended changes for Australia bring us closer to the USA or Europe, or further away from both.

A new Food and Grocery Code – will supermarket heavyweights agree to be bound or will they go off their trolley? - May 2015

Lawyer, Dina Shehata, discusses the commencement of a new regulatory framework for dealings between retailers or wholesalers and suppliers in the food and grocery sector.

Forrest not so silly? Predatory pricing after the Competition Policy Review - May 2015

Furore broke out recently when Andrew Forrest suggested that Australian iron ore producers should cut production to address oversupply and falling prices. It was reported that larger Australian producers had flooded the market and that some smaller Australian producers are in financial difficulties due to falling prices. Apart from demonstrating textbook damage control by Fortescue Metals, the episode provides a useful case study to consider how the recommendations of the Competition Policy Review’s final report will change that application of section 46 to predatory pricing (and cartel conduct). Consultant, George Raitt discusses the impact of the proposed “effects test” on predatory pricing.

ACCC getting to the root of the problem - hair smoothing therapy not all that it claimed it was - Apr 2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recently released its priorities for 2015, which included continued scrutiny on truth in advertising and credence claims regarding the advertisement of products that claim to have particular benefits to the health and wellbeing of consumers. Senior Associate Mitchell Coidan reviews a recent action by the ACCC in this area.

Competition and Consumer News - Mar 2015

Welcome to Piper Alderman's bulletin looking at competition and consumer law. In this bulletin we seek to inform on developments in these areas of law and trade practices generally.

In the March 2015 edition:

  • ACCC targets pain at Nurofen supplier - Partner, Anne Freeman
  • ACCC getting to the root of the problem - hair smoothing therapy not all that it claimed it was - Senior Associate, Mitchell Coidan
  • ACCC v Pfizer: fuel for the fire regarding an "effects test" - Consultant, George Raitt
  • Time to play fair - Partner, Andrea Pane

ACCC v Pfizer – Judgment summary and ramifications - Feb 2015

On 25 February 2015, Justice Flick of the Federal Court of Australia ruled in favour of Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd (Pfizer), dismissing the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC)’s case that Pfizer’s sales and marketing conduct immediately prior to the expiration of its Lipitor patent breached sections 46 and 47 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the CCA).

Competition and Consumer Alert - Business beware: ACCC releases 2015 priorities - Feb 2015

The ACCC has just released its Compliance and Enforcement Policy for 2015. The Policy contains priorities and areas of activity which the ACCC will emphasise when undertaking compliance and enforcement. It is clear from past experience that the ACCC 'walks the talk' when it comes to its areas of focus. Partner, Anne Freeman summarises the priorities.

Competition and Consumer News - Feb 2015

Welcome to Piper Alderman's bulletin looking at competition and consumer law. In this bulletin we seek to inform on developments in these areas of law and trade practices generally.

In the February 2015 edition:

  • Federal Court finds franchisor's conduct not so squeaky clean - Partner, Anne Freeman
  • Boycott on site - The ACCC gives priority to the CFMEU - Senior Associate, Ben Hartley
  • Innovative arguments by Innovator - Lawyer, Leonora Tyers
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