Avoiding liability for resale price maintenance

It was held in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Mitsubishi Electric Australia Pty Ltd [2013] FCA 1413 (ACCC v Mitsubishi) that resale price maintenance (RPM) refers broadly to conduct of suppliers in attempting to induce distributors or resellers of their goods not to resell them at a price less than that which is prescribed by the supplier.  Section 48 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (Act) states that: [Read more…]

Resale price maintenance

Businesses (Suppliers) that sell their goods via distribution networks (Distributors), who in turn sell them to third party consumers need to take care to ensure that they do not engage in conduct amounting to resale price maintenance.  In Australia, this method of ‘resale’ and ‘resale price maintenance’ is subject to the law imposed by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (Act). [Read more…]

Federal Court rules on unfair contract terms

The recent decision of the Federal Court of Australia in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd [2017] FCA 1224 serves as a reminder to businesses that use standard form contracts to carefully review their terms.

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Software licences held to be “goods” under ACL

Software licences have been held to be “goods” under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by the Federal Court of Australia in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Valve Corporation (No 3) [2016] FCA 196.  The case also clarified the position of “choice of law” clauses and highlighted the difficulties of contracting out of ACL consumer guarantees. [Read more…]

The risks of ‘manufactured’ business testimonials: a lesson from the ACCC

On 18 December 2015, the Federal Court handed down an order for relief based on a case initiated by the ACCC in July 2014.  The order imposed penalties on A Whistle & Co Pty Ltd (the Respondent) for breaching the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by publishing fake customer testimonials.  Whilst it is common marketing practice to use testimonials to create the appearance of customer satisfaction, the judgment, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v A Whistle & Co (1979) Pty Limited [2015] FCA 1447 demonstrates why businesses should ensure that they engage in genuine and legitimate marketing, and avoid misleading or deceiving their consumers. [Read more…]

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Limited [2014] FCA 634

Please note this article has been updated.

Supermarket giant Coles has been advertising bread using the phrases “Baked Today, Sold Today”, “Freshly Baked”, “Baked Fresh”, “Freshly Baked In-Store” and “Coles Bakery”. In reality, the bread was partially baked, in some instances overseas, up to six (6) months before being defrosted, with the final baking process occurring in Coles’ stores.

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Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v A Whistle (1979) Pty Ltd

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reinforced its stance against the publication of false testimonies and reviews online instituting proceedings against A Whistle (1979) Pty Ltd  trading as Electrodry Carpet Cleaning (Electrodry). [Read more…]

ACCC guidance on country of origin labelling for businesses

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have released guidelines to assist businesses with country of origin labelling. The Competition and Consumer Act (CCA) prescribes serious consequences for businesses that make false or misleading claims in regards to the origin of goods.

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