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))
- 30 Oct 2023:
Australian Energy Regulator v AGL Loy Yang Marketing Pty Ltd  FCA 1299
ENERGY AND RESOURCES - electricity - contraventions of cls 4.9.8(a) and (d) of the National Electricity Rules - generators not complying with dispatch instructions of Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) - where respondents' trading teams made offers to AEMO for generators to provide contingency services - where respondents' generators were…
Judge: Button J
- 23 Oct 2023:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook, Inc.) (No 2)  FCA 1234
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for stay of proceedings - where criminal proceedings commenced in Magistrates Court of Western Australia in relation to overlapping factual matrix - where related criminal proceedings is a private prosecution - where the accused in the criminal proceeding is a corporation - where the applicants are regulators…
Judge: Cheeseman J
- 20 Oct 2023:
Ord Minnett Holdings Pty Ltd v Longmuir  FCA 1262
CONTRACTS - urgent application for an interlocutory injunction - orders sought to restrain former employee of applicant to solicit clients of applicant - contractual restraints - restraint period only lasts for another two months - practical effect of interlocutory relief may be final - accumulation of evidence amounts to serious question to be…
Judge: Jackson J
- 5 Oct 2023:
Australian Energy Regulator v Pelican Point Power Ltd (No 2)  FCA 1381
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE -- where held in principal reasons that the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) was successful in establishing that Pelican Point Power Limited's (PPPL) Short Term PASA inputs submitted after 3 February 2017 at 12.14 pm contravened cl 3.7.3(e)(2) National Electricity Rules -- where at the outset of the proceedings the Court…
Judge: Besanko J
- 25 Sep 2023:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v BlueScope Steel Limited (No 7)  FCA 1140
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Rule 39.05(h) of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) - the "slip rule" - application to correct error in order made imposing pecuniary penalty on second respondent - principles governing operation of r 39.05(h) - order made
Judge: O'Bryan J
- 20 Sep 2023:
Australian Energy Regulator v Pelican Point Power Ltd  FCA 1110
CONSUMER LAW -- application for declarations of contraventions of National Electricity Rules (NER) pursuant to s 44AAG(1) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) -- where on 8 February 2017, a day Adelaide recorded a maximum temperature of 42.4 degrees Celsius, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) had to issue a direction to…
Judge: Besanko J
- 7 Sep 2023:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Swift Networks Pty Ltd  FCA 1064
COMPETITION - proceeding for civil contraventions of s 45AJ and s 45AK of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) - cartel conduct - bid rigging - where former employees of the respondent engaged in conduct which breached the cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) - where conduct involved arranging prices of bids or…
Judge: Colvin J
- 29 Aug 2023:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v BlueScope Steel Limited (No 6)  FCA 1029
COMPETITION - application for the imposition of pecuniary penalties and other relief under Pt VI of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) for conduct constituting an attempt to induce an understanding containing cartel provisions - relevant penalty considerations in the case of an attempt to induce a contravention - relevance of the…
Judge: O'Bryan J
- 2 Aug 2023:
Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Valvo  FCA 895
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE -- joint application by parties for suppression orders over parts of originating process and affidavit -- where first hearing for ex parte interim relief determined -- where affidavit read in open court on ex parte application -- where subsequent inter partes hearing -- third party request by journalist for purposes of fair…
Judge: Cheeseman J
- 1 Aug 2023:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Delta Building Automation Pty Ltd  FCA 880
COMPETITION - proceeding for civil contraventions of s 45AJ of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) - cartel conduct - bid rigging - whether the respondents attempted to make an arrangement or arrive at an understanding containing a cartel provision, or attempted to induce a competitor to do the same - held: contraventions established;…
Judge: Bromwich 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.