Economic Regulator, Competition and Access Sub-area
About this Sub-Area
This Sub-area includes:
- matters concerning anti-competitive conduct, including:
- civil cartel matters
- misuse of market power
- exclusive dealing
- competition actions by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
- infrastructure access and regulatory pricing matters.
It can be a fine distinction between matters in this NPA and matters in other Commercial and Corporations Sub-areas, such as the Commercial Contracts, Banking, Finance and Insurance Sub-area and the Corporations and Corporate Insolvency Sub-area. Which Sub-area a matter is commenced in may be determined by the nature of the character of the matter, the relief sought and the legislation relied upon.
Generally, actions in this Sub-area are commenced by economic regulators, such as the:
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) - Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) - Australia’s competition regulator.
The Commonwealth can also bring an action, or be a party to an economic regulator matter.
Australian Competition Tribunal
The Tribunal was created in 1966 as the Trade Practices Tribunal. It was renamed the Australian Competition Tribunal in 1995. The Court provides operational support for the Australian Competition Tribunal, including providing registry support for the tribunal.
If a matter relates to a decision of the Australian Competition Tribunal, then the matter may be commenced in the Court as a judicial review application. For more information about the Tribunal including its members, decisions and practice directions, visit the Australian Competition Tribunal’s website.
All practice notes are to be read with the Central Practice Note. It is the essential guide to practice in the Federal Court in all proceedings.
Central Practice Note (CPN-1)
The NPA practice note sets out the arrangements for the management of Commercial and Corporations proceedings in this Sub-area:
NPA Practice Note:
Other practice notes and Court developed guides which may be relevant to this Sub-area include:
General Practice Notes:
Forms, Rules & Fees
Filing fees for commencing a proceeding in this Sub-area may apply. Information about Court fees, including the fees payable and circumstances where an exemption or deferral can be given is available in Forms, Fees & Costs or from the Registry.
The forms used in this Sub-area will depend on the legislation relied upon – which will depend on the conduct involved and relief sought. Generally a matter may be commenced in this Sub-area by filing:
These applications should be supported by one of the following Federal Court forms:
Parties should consider whether it is necessary to file a Genuine steps statements (Form 16) in certain proceedings in this NPA - see Rule 8.02 of the Rules and the Civil Dispute Resolution Act 2011 (Cth) (including sections 6, 7 and 16).
Judicial review applications
Additionally, in this Sub-area, a person may, where a person is aggrieved by a decision that the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) (ADJR Act) applies, apply for a judicial review under section 5 of the ADJR Act by filing:
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth)
- Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)
- Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
- Australian Consumer Law (being Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth))
- 23 Nov 2022:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v NQCranes Pty Ltd  FCA 1383
COMPETITION - proceeding for civil contraventions of cartel provisions in Div 1 in Pt IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) - whether appropriate for court to make declarations of contraventions, impose civil penalties and order respondent to implement a compliance plan - where conduct serious - where mitigating factors present,…
Judge: Abraham J
- 21 Oct 2022:
Di Gregorio v Lumi Finance Pty Ltd  FCA 1256
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - costs - application for indemnity costs - application for costs order against solicitors
Judge: Moshinsky J
- 14 Sep 2022:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v First Class Slate Roofing Pty Limited  FCA 1093
COMPETITION LAW - cartel conduct - bid-rigging - admitted contraventions of s 45AJ and s 45AK of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) - application for pecuniary penalties and other relief - agreed orders
Judge: Yates J
- 9 Sep 2022:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook, Inc.)  FCA 1062
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE -- application for an order under s 37AF of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) prohibiting publication or other disclosure of an originating application and concise statement (initiating process), and other documents - whether an order is necessary to prevent prejudice to the proper administration of justice -…
Judge: Yates J
- 30 Aug 2022:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v J Hutchinson Pty Ltd (No 2)  FCA 1007
COMPETITION LAW - application by regulator for pecuniary penalties and other relief arising from findings of liability in previous decision - where findings and declarations made that construction company had contravened ss 45E(3) and 45EA Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) - where findings and declarations made that union was knowingly…
Judge: Downes J
- 12 Aug 2022:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Google LLC (No 4)  FCA 942
CONSUMER LAW - where first respondent found to have contravened ss 18, 29 and 34 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) - where second respondent found to have breached the same provisions of the ACL by adopting and endorsing first respondent's conduct - where parties agreed on relief, declarations which should be made and pecuniary penalties which…
Judge: Thawley J
- 28 Jun 2022:
Australian Energy Regulator v Hornsdale Power Reserve Pty Ltd  FCA 738
CONSUMER LAW -- application for declarations of contraventions of National Electricity Rules (NER) pursuant to s 44AAG(1) of Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CC Act) and order for payment of civil penalty pursuant to s 44AAG(2)(a) of CC Act -- where respondent "Registered Participant" in National Electricity Market (NEM) and registered…
Judge: Besanko J
- 28 Jun 2022:
Australian Energy Regulator v AGL HP 1 Pty Ltd  FCA 737
CONSUMER LAW -- application for declaration of contravention of National Electricity Rules (NER) pursuant to s 44AAG(1) of Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CC Act), imposition of pecuniary penalties pursuant to s 44AAG(2)(a) of CC Act and order for engagement of compliance expert pursuant to s 44AAG(2) of CC Act -- where respondents…
Judge: Besanko J
- 1 Jun 2022:
Australian Energy Regulator v EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd  FCA 644
CORPORATIONS - where EnergyAustralia admitted to numerous contraventions of the National Energy Retail Rules - where contraventions concerned a failure to properly register customers depending upon life support equipment - where registration protects such customers from disconnection in particular circumstances, including non-payment - where…
Judge: Colvin J
- 8 Apr 2022:
Commissioner of Taxation v Balasubramaniyan  FCA 374
FOREIGN ACQUISITIONS - acquisition of real property - residential property - contraventions of Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) - passive investments - contraventions of s 94(1) concerning failure to notify residential land acquisitions - contraventions of s 95(1) concerning holding an interest in more than one established…
Judge: Beach J
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Important note: This information is procedural advice only. You should seek your own legal advice about legal cases and procedure in the Federal Court and in this area of law.