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Current Australian competition cases

Current cases and recent decisions (where ACCC, ACT or CDPP is a party) and select private actions

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Further details on current cases can be found from the Federal Law Search website

 

First instance (public cases: civil)

ACCC v Cryosite

Case details

Applicant ACCC
(represented by Corrs Chambers Westgarth)
Respondents Cryosite Limited
File Number VID830/2018
Filing date 11 July 2018
(Concise Statement and Originating application filed afternoon of 11 July)
Registry Victoria
Docket Justice Beach
Claims Cartel conduct
Hearing Hearing: 11 February 2019
Administrative listing: 22 November 2018
Administrative listings on 9 August and 19 October 2018
Description ACCC: 'The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Cryosite Limited for alleged cartel conduct in relation to its entry into an asset sale agreement with Cell Care Australia Pty Ltd (Cell Care).'
Media release ACCC, 'ACCC institutes proceedings against Cryosite for alleged cartel conduct' (ACCC Media Release, 12 July 2018)
Media

Cat Fredenburgh, 'ACCC brings cartel case against Cryosite over "gun jumping"' (Lawyerly, 12 July 2018)

Jacqueline Downes and Felicity McMahon, 'ACCC cartel action aganst Cryosite is a strong reminder of rules prohibiting "gun jumping"' (Allens >< Linklaters Client Update, 13 July 2018)

Elizabeth Avery, Charles Coorey, Jack Coles and Claire Green, 'First Australian M&A gun-jumping prosecution: ACCC v Cryosite Limited' (Gilbert + Tobin, 17 July 2018)

ACCC v NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd

Case details

Applicant ACCC
(Represented by Australian Government Solicitor)
Respondents NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd ('NSW Ports')
Port Botony Operations Pty Ltd (subsidiary or NSW Ports)
Port Kembla Operations Pty Ltd (subsidiary or NSW Ports)
File Number NSD2289/2018
Filing date 10 December 2018
Registry NSW
Docket Justice Jagot
Claims Anti-competitive agreement (purpose and effect)
Hearing First Case Management Hearing before Justice Jagot on 20 December 2018
Media release ACCC, 'ACCC takes action against NSW Ports' (ACCC Media Release, 10 December 2018)
Media

Michael Parris, 'ACCC takes Port Botany, Port Kembla to court over ‘illegal’ container agreement with NSW government' (The Herald, 10 December 2018).

ACCC v Pacific National & Ors

Case details

Applicant ACCC
(represented by DLA Piper Australia)
Respondents Pacific International Pty Ltd
Aurizon Holdings Ltd
[Full details available from Commonwealth Courts Portal: VID864/2018]
File Number VID864/2018
Filing date 18 July 2018 (Originating application and Concise Statement)
Registry Victoria
Docket Justice Beach
Claims Anti-competitive understanding (s 45) and acquisition (proposed) (s 50)
Hearing Next listed: 12, 13, 19, 20 February 2019
22 November - 30 November 2018 (Part Heard)
Media release ACCC, 'ACCC takes action against Pacific National and Aurizon' (ACCC Media Release, 19 July 2018)
Media

Matthew Stevens, 'Qube is the fulcrum of ACCC collusion landmark' (AFR, 28 November 2018)

Joe Aston and Myriam Robin, 'ACCC owes Aurizon and Pacific National chiefs an apology' (AFR, 20 November 2018)

Patrick Hatch, 'Freight giants hit back at ACCC over blocked rail deal' (SMH, 19 November 2018

Paul Garvey, 'ACCC to pay Aurizon legal costs' (The Australian, 19 November 2018, page 19)

Mathew Stevens, 'Aurizon, Pacific National collusion case opens with pruned ACCC claim' (18 November 2018) (also as Matthew Stevens, 'Landmark collusion case pared by ACCC' (AFR, 19 November 2018, page 27)

Ramsay Health Care

Case details

Applicant ACCC
Respondents Ramsay Health Care Australia Pty Ltd
File Number NSD628/2017
Filing date 1 May 2017
Registry NSW
Docket Justice Griffiths
Legal Representatives Applicant: Baker & McKenzie
Respondent: Johnson Winter & Slattery
Claims Misuse of Market Power and Exclusive Dealing
Hearing Listed for 25 Feb - 15 March
Media release ACCC, 'ACCC takes action against Ramsay Health Care for alleged anti-competitive conduct' (ACCC Media Release, 1 May 2017)
Media Sarah-Jane Tasker, 'ACCC launches court [sic] against Ramsay over alleged abuse of market power' (The Australian, 1 May 2017)
More

For more details see separate Ramsay Health Care case page.

 

First instance (public cases: criminal)

CDPP v ANZ, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and others

File details

Prosecutor Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
Accused Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd
Citigroup Global Markets Australia Pty Ltd
Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft
John McLean
Itay Tuchman
Stephen Roberts
Michael Ormaechea
Michael Richardson
Rick Moscati
Court

Originally listed for Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on 3 July 2018

Then delayed until October and now adjourned until 5 February 2019

More

ACCC's press release

Clancy Yeates, 'ANZ cartel defence being hampered by document delays, court hears' (SMH, 9 October 2018)

 

CDPP v CFMMEU

File details

Prosecutor Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
Accused Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU)
Jason O'Mara (ACT Divisional Branch Secretary of CFMMEU)
Court Charges are being prosecuted by the CDPP with first mention scheduled before the ACT Magistrates Court on 27 September 2018. Ajourned to reappear in December 2018.
Detail ACCC Chair, Rod Sims, said the charges allege each attempted to induce 'suppliers of steelfixing services and scaffolding services to reach cartel contracts, arrangements or understandings containing cartel provisions in relation to services provided to builders in the ACT in 2012 to 2013'.
More ACCC's press release

 

CDPP v The Country Care Group and its managers

File details

Prosecutor Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
Accused The County Care Group
Robert Hogan (Managing Director)
Cameron Harrison (Former employee)
Court Originally Magistrates' Court of Victoria in Mildura - moved to Melbourne Magistrates' Court
(if the Magistrate determines there is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed it will be heard in the Federal Court)
Committal mention

Commital now listed for 4 March 2019

Country care committal mentions postponed to 15 August at 10am
Listed for Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 6 June 2018 at 9:30am
Accused: Robert Martin Hogan (Case # J10675774)
Accused: Cameron Harrison (Case #J10518584)
Accused: The County Care Group Pty Ltd (Case #J10677523)

First mention Listed for committal in Melbourne Magistrates' Court 6 June 2018
Originally listed for mention on 14 March 2018 in Mildura Magistrates' Court
More

See ACCC, 'Criminal cartel proceedings commenced against Country Care and its managers' (Media Release, 15 February 2018)

See David Marin-Guzman, 'ACCC criminal case against Country Care Group alleges nationwide cartel' (AFR, 15 March 2018)

 

CDPP v Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha

File details

Prosecutor Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
Accused Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha
File Number NSD1932/2017
Court

Prosecution commenced in Local Court (Downing Centre Local Court)
Moved to Federal Court 6 November 2017

First case management hearing (Justice Wigney) 16 Nov 2017

Docket Justice Wigney
Hearing Sentence hearing 15 November 2018 (judgment reserved)
First mention 15 November 2016
More

See my case page for further details

See also

 

Appeal

ACCC v Cascade Coal Pty Ltd & Ors

File details

Applicant ACCC
Respondents Cascade Coal Pty Ltd and others
File Number NSD1382/2018
Filing date 3 August 2018
Registry NSW
Judges TBA
Claim Bid Rigging
Hearing TBA in sitting period commencing 4 Feb 2019 (likely between 26 Feb - 1 March)
Case management 25 September 2018 (Justice Jagot). Ordered that the appeal be listed for hearing (estimated 2 days) before a Full Court in NSW in the sitting period commencing 4 February 2019.
Trial judgment Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Cascade Coal Pty Ltd (No 3) [2018] FCA 1019 (Revised on 15 August 2018) (Jade)
Appeal Details TBC - no ACCC media release. Full reasons in trial judgment released after court refused leave to appeal against denial of suppression orders on 12 November 2018. See Obeid v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [2018] FCA 1713 (12 November 2018) (AustLII)

 

Special leave applications

None pending

 

Penalty decisions pending

Air New Zealand v ACCC; PT Garuda Indonesia Ltd v ACCC

File details

PENALTY DECISION (ANZ)
Party Air New Zealand
Case number NSD534/2010
Presiding officer Justice Gleeson
Judgment Air NZ ordered to pay $15m penalties on 27 June
 
PENALTY DECISION (GARUDA)
Party Air New Zealand and PT Garuda Indonesia Ltd
Party PT Garuda Indonesia Ltd ARBN 000 861 165
Case number NSD955/2009
Presiding officer Justice Perram
Hearing Listed for 22, 25, 26 June 2018
Judgment reserved on 25 June 2018
 
HIGH COURT (APPEAL)
Appellants Air New Zealand and PT Garuda Indonesia Ltd
Respondent ACCC
Hearing 2-3 March 2017
Judgment Air New Zealand Ltd v ACCC; Pt Garuda Indonesia Ltd v ACCC [2017] HCA 21 (High Court page) (14 June 2017)
(appeal unanimously dismissed)
Case details S245/2016 (Air New Zealand): View High Court web page for case
Appellant submissions and chronology 18 November 2016
Respondent submissions 9 December 2016
Reply 23 December 2016
(all documents available on High Court page)

S248/2016 (PT Garuda Indonesia): View High Court page
Submissions due as above
Special leave Granted 14 October 2016 (Justices Keane and Gordon)
Air New Zealand v ACCC; PT Garuda Indonesia Ltd v ACCC
[2016] HCATrans 245
Appeal from ACCC v P T Garuda Indonesia Ltd [2016] FCAFC 42
   
FULL FEDERAL COURT (APPEAL)
Appellant ACCC
Respondent Air New Zealand
File number NSD1331/2014
File Numbers
(first instance)
NSD1331/2014 [ACCC v Air New Zealand Limited]
NSD1330/2014 [ACCC v PT Garduda Indonesia Ltd]
Filing date (appeal) 16 December 2014
Appeal from ACCC v Air New Zealand Limited [2014] FCA 1157 (Justice Perram)
(visit case page)
Registry NSW
Claim Price fixing
Hearing 17-24 August 2015
Judges Justice Dowsett, Justice Yates, Justice Edelman
Judgment 21 March 2016 (Appeal Upheld)
ACCC v P T Garuda Indonesia Ltd [2016] FCAFC 42
ACCC Press Release ACCC, 'ACCC appeals air cargo cartel decision' (17 December 2014)

 

Judgment reserved

ACCC v Colgate-Palmolive Pty Ltd (and Cussons and Woolworths)

File details

APPEAL Note the ACCC lodged a Notice of Appeal against penalty on 19 Feb 2018
Applicant ACCC
Respondent PZ Cussons Australia Pty Ltd
File Number NSD202/2018
Filing date 19 February 2018
Registry NSW
Docket Justice Middleton, Justice Perram, Justice Bromwich
Claim Cartel conduct
Hearing date(s) 20-22 August 2018 (Judgment reserved)
Media

ACCC, 'ACCC appeals Cussons decision' (Media Release, 20 February 2018).

Roje Adaimy, 'ACCC appeals cartel case against Cussons' (The Australian, 20 February 2018)

TRIAL  
Applicant Case dismissed
See Colgate-Palmolive case page for details
Notes

Colgate made admissions about conduct contravening the Act and, on 28 April 2016, was ordered to pay penalties totalling $18m plus a contribution toward the ACCC's costs. See media release.

Woolworths also made admissions about their involvement and were fined $9m.

Unilever was an immunity applicant.

The case continued against PZ Cussons and was dismissed on 22 Dec 2017

 

First instance (private claims)

None pending

 

Recently completed ACCC/CDPP cases (last 12 months)

ACCC v ANZ and Macquarie

Case details

Applicant ACCC
Respondents ANZ; Macquarie
File Number NSD2035/2016; NSD2036/2016
Filing date 25 November 2016
Registry New South Wales
Judge Justice Wigney
Claims Attempted cartel conduct
Judgment date 14 December 2016
Judgment ACCC v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited [2016] FCA 1516
Media ACCC media release
'ANZ, Macquirie Bank admit to cartel conduct' (Australian Financial Review, 25 November 2016).
Notes Conduct admitted; joint submission on penalties

 

ACCC v CFMEU

Case details

Applicant ACCC
Respondents Construction, Forestry, Mining And Energy Union (CFMEU)
File Number VID698/2014
Filing date 20 November 2014
Registry Victoria
Judge Justice Middleton
Claims Secondary boycott and undue harassment or coercion
Hearing 12 February 2018
Court orders

On 4 November 2016 the Court made consent orders dismissing proceedings against the second and third respondents and dismissing certain aspects of the claim against the first respondet, 'without adjudication on the merits'.

On 12 February 2018 the Court made orders that the CFMEU had:

  • In relation to the Hawthorn site: 'engaged in conduct in concert with a Shop Steward which hindered or prevented the acquisition of concrete by S & A Paving from Alsafe (a Boral subsidiary) for the purpose of causing substantial loss or damage to the business of Boral, being conduct which was likely to have the effect of causing substantial loss or damage to the business of Boral, in contravention of s 45D(1) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) ('the Act').' and
  • In relation to the RIchmond Site: ' engaged in conduct in concert with a Shop Steward which hindered or prevented the acquisition of concrete by Oceania from Boral for the purpose of causing substantial loss or damage to the business of Boral, being conduct which was likely to have the effect of causing substantial loss or damage to the business of Boral, in contravention of s 45D(1) of the Act.'

CFMEU was ordered to pay a sum of $500k in respect of each contravention.

View court orders

Media For further details see my CFMEU case page

 

ACCC v Oakmoore Pty Ltd

Case details

 

ACCC v Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi Energia SRL (Formerly Pirelli Cavi E Sistemi Energia SPA) & Ors

File details

FULL FEDERAL COURT (APPEAL)
Appellant Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi Energia S.R.L.
Respondent ACCC
File number SAD216/2017
Filing date (appeal) 14 August 2017
Appeal from ACCC v v Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi S.R.L. (No 12) [2016] FCA 822
Registry South Australian
Claim Cartel conduct
Hearing 26 February 2018
Judges Justice Middleton, Justice Perram, Justice Griffiths
Judgment 13 March 2018 (Appeal Dismissed)
ACCC Press Release ACCC, 'Full Federal Court dismisses cartel appeal' (13 March 2018)
FEDERAL COURT (TRIAL)
Applicant ACCC
Respondents Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi Energia S.R.L. (Formerly Pirelli Cavi E Sistemi Energia S.P.A.) (first respondent)
Nexans Sa Rcs Paris 393 525 852 (Second respondent)
Viscas Corporation ARBN 133 203 595 (Third respondent)
File Number SAD145/2009
Filing date 23 September 2009
Registry SA
Judge Justice Besanko
Claim Bid rigging and price fixing
Hearing 14-15 September 2015
Judgment 20 July 2016
ACCC v v Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi S.R.L. (No 12) [2016] FCA 822

 

ACCC v Yazaki Corporation

Case details

HIGH COURT Application for Special Leave to Appeal refused
APPEAL Lodged 30 May 2017 against penalty
Applicant ACCC
Respondents Yazaki Corporation
Australian Arrow Pty Ltd (second respondent)
Registry South Australia
File number (appeal) SAD139/2017
Filing date (appeal) 30 May 2017
Cross-appeal Filed by Yazaki on 19 June 2017
Hearing (appeal) 13-14 March 2018
(Court granted leave for Yazaki to file and serve submissions on the question of penalty)
Judges Chief Justice Allsop, Justice Middleton, Justice Robertson
Judgment ACCC v Yazaki Corporation [2018] FCAFC 73 (16 May 2018)
Appeal allowed: penalty increased from $9.5m to $46m
Media ACCC appeals Yazaki Corporation penalty decision (ACCC press release, 30 May 2017)
TRIAL Note the ACCC lodged a Notice of Appeal against penalty on 30 May 2017
Applicant ACCC
Respondents Yazaki Corporation
Australian Arrow Pty Ltd (second respondent)
Registry South Australia
Claims Cartel conduct (market sharing and price fixing)
Hearing 3 December - 12 December 2014
Judgment

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Yazaki Corporation (No 2) [2015] FCA 1304

The Federal Court found that Yazaki Corporation engaged in collusive conduct with its competitor when supplying wire harnesses to Toyota in Australia. The conduct took place in 2003 and 2008 and breached the exclusionary conduct provisions of the CCA and the Competition Code of Victoria.

Penalty Penalties of $9.5m plus costs were awarded on 9 May 2017. See ACCC media release.

 

Recently completed: judicial review

ACCC v Australian Competition Tribunal & Anor

Case details

Applicant ACCC
Respondents Australian Competition Tribunal
Tabcorp Holdings Limited
Tatts Group Ltd
File Number VID751/2017
Filing date 10 July 2017
Registry Victoria
Judge Justice Perram
Hearings Hearing: 28-29 August 2017 (concurrent with VID762/2017)
Case management hearing: 14 July 2017 at 9:30am
(Tatts were joined as third respondent and dates set)
Judgment ACCC v Australian Competition Tribunal [2017] FCAFC 150 (22 Sept)
ACCC's application for judicial review regarding process for determining merger authorisation
Lawyers (applicant) DLA Piper Australia
Lawyers (respondent) Herbert Smith Freehills (Tabcorp)
Clayton Utz (Tatts)
Claims Judicial Review alleging error of law in application of merger authorisation public benefits test
Original decision Tabcorp Holdings and Tatts Group - proposed merger (ACT 1 of 2017)
Related matter Crownbet v Australian Competition Tribunal & Anor
Documents filed Originating application for relief under s 39B Judiciary Act 1903 and Affidavit filed by ACCC on 10 July 2017. Interlocutory application, submisssions and affidavit filed by Tatts Group 13 July 2017.

Crownbet v Australian Competition Tribunal & Anor

Case details

Applicant ACCC
Respondents Australian Competition Tribunal
Tabcorp Holdings Limited
Tatts Group Ltd
File Number VID762/2017
Filing date 10 July 2017
Registry Victoria
Judge Justice Perram
Hearings Hearing: 28-29 August 2017 (concurrent with VID751/2017)
Case management hearing: 14 July 2017 at 9:30am
(Tatts were joined as third respondent and dates set)
Judgment ACCC v Australian Competition Tribunal [2017] FCAFC 150 (22 Sept)
ACCC's application for judicial review regarding process for determining merger authorisation
Lawyers (applicant) Minter Ellison
Lawyers (respondent) Herbert Smith Freehills (Tabcorp)
Clayton Utz (Tatts)
Claims Judicial Review alleging error of law in application of merger authorisation public benefits test
Original decision Tabcorp Holdings and Tatts Group - proposed merger (ACT 1 of 2017)
Related matter ACCC v Australian Competition Tribunal & Anor
Documents filed Originating application for judicial review and affidavit filed by Crownbet 12 July 2017.

 

Discontinued

Unlockd Limited v Google

Case details

  DISCONTINUED
Applicant Unlockd AU Pty Limited Limited
Unlockd Limited
Unlockd Operations Pty Ltd
Respondents Google Asia Pacific Pte Limited
Google LLC
File Number VID628/2018
Filing date 30 May 2018
Registry Victoria
Docket Justice Middleton
Claims Misuse of Market Power
Unconscionable Conduct
Hearing No hearing - discontinued/withdrawn on 31 October 2018
Originally listed for 3-13 September 2018
Interlocutory and Directions hearings

Interlocutory Hearing 31 May 2018
Judgment: Unlockd Limited v Google Asia Pacific Pte Limited [2018] FCA 826
Justice Moshinsky ordered that until 4pm on 29 June (or further order) the respondents shall not take any action to suspend supply of Google Play Store/Google AdMob service relating to Unlockd's Flybuy app in Australia

On 8 June 2018 (Diretions hearing) Justice Middleton made orders relating to interlocutory relief, security for costs and the trial timetable

On 27 June 2018 (Interlocutory hearing) Justice Middleton vacated orders 1 to 2 and 5 to 22 of the orders dated 8 June and set the matter down for directions hearing on 3 August 2018 at 10:15

Directions hearing 3 August 2018.

Administrative listing 24 September 2018.

Administrative listing 12 October 2018.

Administrative listing 31 October 2018.

Details Originating application, affidavit, outline of submissions filed 30-31 May 2018
Media

Colin Kruger, 'Start-up Unlockd puts off legal action in Australia against Google' (SMH, 31 October 2018)

Misa Han, 'Unlockd will 'cease to exist' if Google blocks the app' (AFR, 3 June 2018)

Cat Fredenburgh 'Unlockd wins bid to stop Google blocking app in Australia' (Lawyerly, 31 May 2018)