Articles on ACCC

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Motorists can expect higher petrol prices in 2014…and beyond. David Crosling/AAP

No petrol price reprieve for motorists this year

Australia’s cost of living is among the highest in the world, despite our low inflation rate. In this series we explore what consumers can expect from the big ticket items - petrol, power and groceries…
The public versus private debate is oversimplified, and the situation is made worse by the hybrid nature of many so-called “public” organisations. Shutterstock

A privatisation message for the Commission of Audit

The Federal Government’s Commission of Audit reports at the end of this month. Tasked with identifying where efficiency and productivity improvements may be made across all areas of Commonwealth expenditure…
Some registered professions are being excluded from rebates for services they can provide. Image from shutterstock.com

Private health insurance rebates restrict consumer choice

The pre-Christmas announcement that private health insurance premiums will rise by an average of 6.2% in 2014 has raised concerns about affordability. But while consumers aren’t expected to drop their…
The Federal Government’s flagged a review of competition laws, the first in two decades. It will need to look at how duopoly grocery retailers push regulators to limit competition. AAP/Dean Lewins

Groceries, power & fuel: crunch time for competition review

The Government’s push to reform competition laws will continue next year with a review focusing on the key groceries, utilities and automotive fuel sectors. These are the sectors that most regularly affect…
Online shoppers find good reviews powerfully persuasive, but as many as 20% may not be genuine. AAP/Julian Smith

Spot the fake: shoppers get help with online reviews

Three cheers for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It recently released a guide for dealing with fake reviews, which in essence said fake reviews are unlawful. They can mislead…
A new grocery code of conduct provides new rules for a sector subject to price wars, but will not solve all market problems. Lukas Coch/AAP

Coles and Woolworths code useful, but beware disputes

Coles, Woolworths and the Food and Grocery Council have released a draft industry code of conduct to help govern their relationships with suppliers. The code will be “voluntary” under section 51AE of the…
How much will getting rid of the carbon price save households? AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Axing the carbon tax: saving households, costing climate

With the government introducing legislation to repeal the carbon price today, people might be wondering how much they will benefit from reduced cost of living. The government has continued to claim that…
Commonwealth Bank chief Ian Narev announces a record full-year profit of A$7.8 billion, ahead of this week’s $2.1 billion quarterly result. Paul Miller/AAP

Bank profits grow, and so does the criticism. Who’s right?

Like most companies, banks report their profits twice a year. Each time the majors report we see headlines about the size of the profits and implicit or explicit criticism of the amount – this time about…
Legally, it would be extremely difficult to prove shopper docket fuel discounts are anti-competitive. Michael Welsh via Flickr

Are shopper dockets anti-competitive? Good luck proving it

A curious feature of the election campaign to date has been the lack of focus on competition and consumer policy. Generally this subject rates highly, as parties try to curry favour with consumers and…
CEO Rob Sharp will preside over a leaner Tigerair, now under the wing of Virgin Australia. AAP

Virgin’s takeover ensures Tiger is no longer toothless

The corporate regulator’s approval of Virgin Australia’s 60% stake in fledgling low-cost carrier Tigerair (formerly known as Tiger Airways) marks the Australian aviation industry’s return to an effective…
Immunity has been central to cracking down on cartels - but does it work the way it’s supposed to? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Does immunity for cartel whistleblowers really work?

Australia’s competition watchdog is reviewing one of its most powerful weapons in its cartel enforcement arsenal - its immunity policy. Widely seen as the most harmful type of anti-competitive conduct…
Coles’ ten-year deal with farmers’ cooperative Murray Goulburn will have significant consequences for the dairy industry. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Coles’ milk deal gives supermarket suppliers a reason to be sour

Earlier this month, Coles and Murray Goulburn announced a ten-year deal that is likely to have significant consequences for the dairy industry, as well as Australia’s grocery sector more broadly. Starting…
The ACCC has concerns over NBN Co’s wholesale pricing plans.

NBN Co goes back to the drawing board on pricing plan

Yesterday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recommended that NBN Co revise its wholesale agreement — including proposals on pricing and access — as outlined in its special access…
The ACCC is taking legal action over claims homeopathic remedies are a safe and effective alternative for the prevention and treatment of whooping cough. Flickr/kh1234567890

ACCC takes legal action over homeopathy claims

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted Federal Court proceedings against a repeat offender over…
Proving that Woolworths and Coles engaged in unconscionable conduct with their suppliers will be a lengthy and difficult task for the ACCC. AAP

ACCC grocery inquiry will take a long time to bear fruit

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has declared open season on Coles and Woolworths. In an unusual step, the ACCC’s chairman, Rod Sims, discussed his organisation’s current investigations…
The ACCC has put suppliers’ claims of supermarket bullying under the spotlight, but the magnitude of the duopoly’s supermarket power should also be addressed. Image from www.shuttershock.com

ACCC’s inquiry into supermarket bullying misses the real issue of duopoly power

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced last week that it is investigating claims that Coles and Woolworths are bullying suppliers. The issue is serious, but the ACCC investigation…
A High Court ruling that Google did not engage in misleading conduct avoids a quagmire around the obligations of online and bricks-and-mortar publishers.

Google – and everyone else – wins by High Court decision

The High Court has ruled that Google did not engage in misleading and deceptive conduct when it published a number of advertisements created by its AdWords program. Does this mean that the advertisements…
Google has won a High Court case in which the ACCC alleged it engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct. AAP/John G. Mabanglo

Google triumph over ACCC seen as a loss for consumers

Google has triumphed in a High Court case with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in what experts say is…
When does marketing spin cross the line to become misleading advertising? Flickr\Just1of7billion

Where should we draw the line on misleading advertising?

Two recent cases highlight the problem of misleading advertising. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has dismissed an appeal by POM Wonderful about health claims for their juice…

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