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:


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:

  • Form 66 - Originating application for judicial review
  • Form 59 - Affidavit
  • 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

  • 12 Mar 2020: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Ramsay Health Care Australia Pty Limited [2020] FCA 308
    COMPETITION - proposal to establish rival day surgery to existing day surgery and private hospital in Coffs Harbour - alleged misuse of market power and exclusive dealing in contravention of ss 46 and 47 respectively of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) - failure to establish to the requisite standard that the pleaded conduct, which…
    Judge: Griffiths J
  • 10 Mar 2020: Telstra Corporation Limited v Melbourne City Council [2020] FCA 305
    TELECOMMUNICATIONS - whether "New Payphone Cabinets" are "low-impact facilities" within the meaning of clause 6 of Schedule 3 to the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) and the Telecommunications (Low-impact Facilities) Determination 2018 (Cth) - where Melbourne City Council refused Telstra planning permission to install New Payphone Cabinets and to …
    Judge: O'Callaghan J
  • 5 Mar 2020: Mayfield Development Corporation Pty Ltd v NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd [2020] FCA 260
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Part VB of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) - applicant seeking to lift a stay on proceedings - where stay ordered by consent - principles relevant under s 37M of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) - "overarching purpose of civil litigation practice and procedures" - where the respondent is a party…
    Judge: Jagot J
  • 13 Feb 2020: Agnish Pty Limited v Folio Invest Pty Limited (No 4) [2020] FCA 120
    CONSUMER LAW - whether representations made prior to entering into a loan agreement were misleading or deceptive for the purposes of s 18 of the Australian Consumer Law
    Judge: Griffiths J
  • 13 Feb 2020: Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Limited v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [2020] FCA 117
    COMPETITION - proposed merger - supply of retail mobile services in Australia - statutory question under s 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) - what amounts to a 'substantial lessening of competition' - consideration of relevant markets - consideration of whether the proposed merger will have the likely effect of substantially…
    Judge: Middleton J
  • 11 Oct 2019: Bentley Capital Limited v Keybridge Capital Limited [2019] FCA 1675
    CORPORATIONS - deadlock - urgent hearing - meetings of directors - public company - practice of directors as to conduct of meetings - where plan to remove chairperson who holds casting vote - where resolutions proposed at first meeting without notice - where purpose of first meeting otherwise disclosed - whether notice of proposed resolutions was… 139 ACSR 289
    Judge: Banks-smith J
  • 18 Sep 2019: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v BlueScope Steel Limited [2019] FCA 1532
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - suppression orders - principle of open justice - meaning of "necessary" in section 37AG(1) of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) - where application for suppression order made in respect of originating application and concise statement - where civil proceeding commenced prior to commencement of related criminal…
    Judge: O'Bryan J
  • 4 Sep 2019: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Cascade Coal Pty Ltd [2019] FCAFC 154
    COMPETITION - arrangement or understanding restricting dealings in respect of the application process for exploration licences for coal in the Mount Penny and Glendon Brook areas of New South Wales - whether arrangement or understanding contained an exclusionary provision - whether corporate respondents were competitors or likely competitors -… 374 ALR 90
    Judge: Jagot, Beach and Bromwich JJ
  • 15 Aug 2019: Spice Chest Pty Ltd v MacDonald [2019] FCA 1268
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for default judgment - where respondents have not appeared before Court - originating process and statement of claim taken to be served - applicant entitled to make default application CORPORATIONS - misleading or deceptive conduct - whether first respondent contravened s 12DA of the Australian Securities and…
    Judge: Gleeson J
  • 9 Aug 2019: PT Garuda Indonesia Ltd v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Penalty Stay Application) [2019] FCA 1317
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - interlocutory application for stay of penalty order - where primary judge ordered pecuniary penalty of $19 million - where appeal filed against penalty judgment - where Appellant alleging inability to pay - where Respondent willing to consent to further extension to pay PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for suppression…
    Judge: Perram 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.