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Competition and Consumer

No company can afford to ignore the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Competition and Consumer Act (previously the Trade Practices Act) or the Australian Consumer Law. The scope of this area of law is ever expanding and the ACCC’s recent willingness to bring criminal proceedings for cartel contraventions means that the risks of non-compliance have never been higher.

Penalties for breaches are severe, and your company brand, reputation and customer loyalty may all be at stake. Good advice, however, can make the difference between safely achieving your commercial goals and objectives versus falling foul of the ACCC or leaving yourself open to challenge by competitors.

We have a full service competition and consumer law practice. The team advises on the full range of competition and consumer law issues, including cartel issues, joint venture and teaming arrangements, distribution and franchising structures, unfair contract issues, consumer rights, abuse of market power, pricing and promotions, and other similar issues. We handle merger clearance for many significant mergers and acquisitions.

EXPERIENCE
  • NYK on the prosecution of NYK by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution (CDPP) in Australia‚Äôs first ever criminal cartel prosecution;
  • Confidential clients in seeking immunity from prosecution from the ACCC and all dealings with the ACCC in running multiple immunity processes;
  • ANZ Bank to advise employed traders in relation to ACCC and ASIC investigations;
  • Australian Egg Corporation in relation to ACCC cartel proceedings by the ACCC;
  • Australian Vintage Limited in relation to proposed $1 billion merger with Constellation Wines;
  • Adam Internet in relation to proposed acquisition by Telstra and iiNet;
  • Affected industry parties in making submissions to the ACCC in relation to $1.2 billion national gas pipeline acquisition;
  • International Defence companies about competition issues arising from teaming arrangements for Commonwealth Defence tenders;
  • Various clients on a range of significant cartel cases, including acting for airlines in the air freight cartel investigations, the P&O/Patrick cartel prosecution, and prosecutions, and acting in the recent forklift gas cartel litigation;
  • SA Government in relation to Competition & Consumer Act issues including on the $670 million divestment of interests in SA forestry plantations, the $427 million sale of the operating rights of SA Lotteries to the Tatts Group and the current proposal for commercialisation of the Land Services Group; and
  • Allphones and Modern Bramalco Group in relation to ACCC proceedings.