Economic Regulator, Competition and Access Sub-area NPA logo with link NPA logo with link

Economic Regulator, Competition and Access Sub-area

About this Sub-Area

This Sub-area includes:

  • matters concerning anti-competitive conduct, including:
    • civil cartel matters
    • mergers
    • 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.

Economic regulators

Generally, actions in this Sub-area are commenced by economic regulators, such as the:

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.

Practice Notes

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.

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:

Guides:

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:

Forms:

These applications should be supported by one of the following Federal Court forms:

Rules:

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:

Forms:
  • Form 66 - Originating application for judicial review
  • Form 59 - Affidavit
Rules:
Notes:
  • An ADJR Act application must be filed within 28 days from notification of the decision or of the reasons for the decision (whichever is later).

Latest Judgments

  • 30 Nov 2021: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Mazda Australia Pty Ltd [2021] FCA 1493
    CONSUMER LAW - prohibition on misleading or deceptive conduct under s 18 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) - prohibition on certain false or misleading representations under s 29(1)(m) of the ACL - statutory guarantee as to acceptable quality under s 54 of the ACL - consumer's entitlement to reject goods under s 259 of the ACL - representations …
    Judge: O'Callaghan J
  • 29 Nov 2021: Daly v Australian Securities and Investments Commission [2021] FCA 1521
    ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - whether decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal refusing to stay an application for review is an appealable "decision" under s 44(1) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) - notice of objection to competency - decision interlocutory in nature and not "final determination" of the application for review -…
    Judge: Davies J
  • 26 Oct 2021: Bentley Capital Limited v Keybridge Capital Limited (No 2) [2021] FCA 1318
    COSTS - proceedings to resolve deadlocked board of public company - claim and cross-claim - where two camps of directors - where each camp can properly be regarded as having succeeded and failed in part - where appropriate to have regard to reality of circumstances and common factual and legal matrix - where appropriate that there be no order as…
    Judge: Banks-smith J
  • 25 Oct 2021: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v IVF Finance Pty Limited (No 2) [2021] FCA 1295
    COMPETITION - application by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for an urgent interlocutory injunction under s 80(2) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) to restrain the first respondent from acquiring a fertility services business from the second respondent - where the Commission contends that the acquisition would…
    Judge: O'Bryan J
  • 20 Oct 2021: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v NQCranes Pty Ltd [2021] FCA 1270
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application to strike out pleadings under r 16.21 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) and/or s 37P of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) - whether pleadings fail to disclose a reasonable cause of action - whether pleadings likely to cause prejudice, embarrassment or delay - whether pleadings are otherwise an…
    Judge: Abraham J
  • 14 Oct 2021: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v IVF Finance Pty Limited [2021] FCA 1266
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - interim injunction - application by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for interim injunction (until the hearing and determination of application for interlocutory injunction) to restrain the first respondent from acquiring an IVF business from the second respondent - where the Commission contended that the …
    Judge: Moshinsky J
  • 27 Sep 2021: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Google LLC [2021] FCA 1172
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for discovery by categories pursuant to rr 20.13 and 20.15 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) (the Rules) - in the alternative, application for interrogatories pursuant to r 21.01(1) and 21.04(1)(c) of the Rules - where allegation in the primary proceeding is of misleading and deceptive conduct, and/or the…
    Judge: Yates J
  • 23 Sep 2021: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v BlueScope Steel Limited (No 4) [2021] FCA 1162
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application to set aside notice to produce served in the fourth week of trial - notice set aside on the related bases that it is an abuse of process, oppressive, the documents sought lack apparent relevance and the notice is contrary to the overarching obligations in s 37M of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth)
    Judge: O'Bryan J
  • 23 Sep 2021: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v BlueScope Steel Limited (No 3) [2021] FCA 1147
    EVIDENCE - alleged attempt by respondents to induce competitors to make arrangements or arrive at understandings that contain cartel provisions concerning the supply of flat steel products - rulings on admissibility of evidence in the course of trial - whether a transcript of an examination is an admission of a corporation under s 87 of the…
    Judge: O'Bryan J
  • 31 Aug 2021: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd (No 2) [2021] FCA 1040
    COSTS -- necessary or proper party for purposes of joinder -- entitlement to costs order of necessary or proper party joint to proceeding -- costs of cross-claim -- whether interests of justice require party other than respondent to bear costs of cross-respondent -- entitlement to recover reasonable costs of complying with subpoena
    Judge: Jagot 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.