Thursday, 27 February 2020 Sydney

Invest In Australia Blog::

  • Cartel immunity policy strengthened, whistleblowing tool launched

    The ACCC has strengthened its cartel immunity and cooperation policy to enhance its transparency and clarify its scope.

    The updated immunity policy, which has been informed by experience gathered during key criminal investigations, will come into effect on 1 October 2019.

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  • Ombudsman urges prospective franchisees to do their homework

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell is urging prospective franchisees to do their homework before investing, after the ACCC found some franchisors were failing to provide adequate information to buyers.

    The regulator found one-in-three franchisors in the food services sector had failed to disclose useful contact details of former franchisees to allow prospective buyers to conduct due diligence.

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  • Significant concerns with customer loyalty schemes


    Customer loyalty schemes, including frequent flyer, supermarket and credit card operators, must ensure they are not misleading consumers according to an ACCC draft report released today for comment.

    The ACCC’s Customer Loyalty Schemes draft report highlights a number of concerns:

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  • ACCC opposes chilled ready meals deal

    The ACCC has decided to oppose the proposed acquisition of Jewel Fine Foods (Jewel) by B&J City Kitchen.

    B&J City Kitchen and Jewel (in administration) are the two largest manufacturers of chilled ready meals in Australia. Chilled ready meals are pre-cooked complete meals, which require little preparation by consumers before consumption and are sold through grocery retailers, petrol stations, convenience stores and food service operators, such as airlines.

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  • Ombudsman seeks feedback on Business Funding Guide

    The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell is seeking feedback on the ground-breaking Business Funding Guide.

    The guide, released in July by ASBFEO in partnership with Scottish Pacific Business Finance, is an industry-first publication primarily written for accountants, bookkeepers, brokers and other financial advisers, to help their small business clients find the right funding and get ‘finance fit’ to increase their likelihood of having funding applications approved.

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  • Court finds Ashley & Martin contract terms unfair

    The Federal Court has found hair loss business Ashley & Martin’s terms in three standard form contracts with consumers are void because they were unfair.

    From June 2014 until at least June 2017, Ashley & Martin signed up more than 25,000 customers to its ‘Personal RealGROWTH Program’ using three different standard form contracts which have all been found to contain unfair terms.

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  • Appeal on cartel conduct in the Mount Penny coal licence cartel case dismissed

    An ACCC appeal against a Federal Court judgment in relation to alleged bid rigging conduct involving Cascade Coal Pty Ltd (Cascade), Paul and Moses Obeid and others was dismissed today by the Full Federal Court.

    The appeal focused on whether parties associated with Obeid family members and Cascade were “in competition” at the time they withdrew a bid for Mount Penny and Glendon Brook mining exploration licences. The Full Federal Court has concluded there was no error of law on that issue.

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  • Medibank in court for alleged misrepresentations to members about benefits

    The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Medibank Private Limited trading as ‘ahm Health Insurance’ (Medibank), alleging that Medibank made false representations about benefits covered by its health insurance policies, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

    The ACCC alleges that Medibank falsely represented to members holding ahm “lite” or “boost” policies, who were making claims or enquiries, that they were not entitled to cover for joint investigations or reconstruction procedures, when in fact their policies covered these procedures.

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  • Australians paying millions too much for foreign currency services

    Australian consumers are paying too much for foreign currency conversion (FX) services because of confusing pricing and a lack of robust competition, a new ACCC report has found.

    The final report of the ACCC’s Foreign Currency Conversion Services Inquiry highlights important competition and consumer issues affecting individuals and small businesses who use international money transfers (IMTs), foreign cash, travel cards, and credit cards or debit cards for transactions in foreign currencies.

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  • Australia records first current account surplus in 44 years

    The largest quarterly goods and services surplus on record at $19.9 billion and a narrowing net income deficit to $13.9 billion, contributed to Australia recording a seasonally adjusted $5.9 billion current account surplus for the June quarter 2019, according to latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is Australia's first current account surplus since the June quarter 1975.

    ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said: "Six consecutive quarters of goods and services surpluses, broadly commodity driven, have laid the foundation for our first current account surplus in 44 years.

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