The ACCC is responsible for encouraging compliance with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. It can also take enforcement action in response to breaches of the Act. Penalties for breaching the Australian Consumer Law are up to $10,000,000 for corporations and $500,000 for individuals per offence.
The ACCC has highlighted the following areas as priorities for 2020:
Competition and consumer issues in:
- the funeral services sector
- the digital sector
- the pricing/selling of essential services (especially in the energy and telecommunications sectors)
- misleading conduct in selling/promoting food products
- conduct affecting competition in the commercial construction sector
- ensuring the protection of small businesses under competition and consumer laws (especially the Franchising Code of Conduct)
- ensuring compliance with the Dairy Code of Conduct
- empowering consumers and improving industry compliance with consumer guarantees (especially with respect to high value goods, e.g. motor vehicles, electricals, whitegoods)
- pursuing regulatory options to prevent injuries and deaths to children by button batteries
- finalising the recall of vehicles with Takata airbags.
The ACCC has identified certain areas as ‘enduring priorities’, owing to their continued potential to undermine consumer welfare and the competitive process. These include:
- cartel conduct
- anti-competitive conduct
- product safety
- conduct impacting vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers
- conduct impacting Indigenous Australians.
The ACCC is alert to any instances of unfair or unconscionable conduct on the part of businesses in dealing with consumers during the current COVID-19 crisis and is looking at issues such as:
- travel cancellations and changes
- event cancellations
- product price increases
- gym closures
Competition & Consumer Protection – Online Compliance Training
It is crucial that businesses operating in Australia comply with their obligations under the competition and consumer legislative regime. It is also important for your staff to be aware of their obligations under the Act.
GRC Solutions’ Competition & Consumer Protection courses are designed for both general staff and management teams. Our courses have just been visually refreshed with a new design format to help create an engaging and effective learning experience.