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))
- 18 Jan 2018:
SA Power Networks v Australian Competition Tribunal (No 2)  FCAFC 3
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - consideration of an application for judicial review of a decision of the Australian Competition Tribunal to affirm a decision of the Australian Energy Regulator - whether the Tribunal erred in its construction of provisions of the National Electricity Rules relating to the determination of the cost of corporate income tax…
Judge: Besanko, Yates and Robertson JJ
- 22 Dec 2017:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Colgate-Palmolive Pty Ltd (No 4)  FCA 1590
TRADE PRACTICES - competition law - restrictive trade practices - cartel conduct - whether Respondent contravened ss 44ZZRK or 45(2) of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) - where Respondent and two other manufacturers and wholesale suppliers of laundry detergent in Australia transitioned to ultra concentrated laundry detergent and ceased supplying …
Judge: Wigney J
- 21 Dec 2017:
MCG Quarries Pty Ltd v Beach  FCA 1601
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Application for summary judgment; where leases included a term that was alleged to contravene the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) by preventing the applicant supplying stone to the leasee; where it was alleged that it would have been unlawful for the applicant to supply stone by reason of their planning permit and…
Judge: Davies J
- 21 Dec 2017:
Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd v Australian Competition Consumer Commission  FCA 1549
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - judicial review challenge to validity of public inquiry by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission purportedly under Pt 25 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) into whether to declare a wholesale domestic mobile roaming service under s 152AL(3) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) - whether…
Judge: Griffiths J
- 18 Dec 2017:
Chief Executive Officer of Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre v TAB Limited (No 4)  FCA 1532
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for suppression and non-publication order - whether order necessary to prevent prejudice to proper administration of justice - consideration of appropriate duration of order
Judge: Perram J
- 10 Nov 2017:
Australian Securities and Investments Commission v National Australia Bank Limited  FCA 1338
CORPORATIONS LAW - banking - financial services - failure to deal with financial products in an efficient, honest and fair manner - attempts to manipulate the Bank Bill Swap Reference Rate by Prime Banks - unconscionable conduct - contravention of financial services laws pursuant to Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth)…
Judge: Jagot J
- 10 Nov 2017:
Chief Executive Officer of Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre v TAB Limited (No 3)  FCA 1296
STATUTES - Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) - where admitted contraventions by Respondents of statute PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - civil penalties - whether agreed penalty appropriate in circumstances
Judge: Perram J
- 9 Nov 2017:
Port of Newcastle Operations Pty Ltd v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission  FCA 1330
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for extension of time to apply for judicial review under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) - consideration of prejudice to other parties in exercise of discretion - no relevant prejudice in allowing extension of time- extension of time granted ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - application for…
Judge: Jagot J
- 8 Nov 2017:
Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Westpac Banking Corporation  FCA 1331
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - corporations and securities - financial markets - prime bank bills - bank bill swap reference rate (BBSW) - alleged financial market manipulation concerning artificial prices - ss 1041A and 1041B of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) - application to amend originating process and statement of claim - application allowed
Judge: Beach J
- 1 Nov 2017:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (No 3)  FCA 1279
PRACTICE AND PROCDURE - Non-publication and suppression orders - civil penalty proceedings preceding criminal proceedings
Judge: Middleton 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.