“Strong enforcement” – The ACCC’s key priorities for 2013
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) yesterday released its new Compliance and Enforcement Policy which sets out its priorities for 2013. The new policy provides businesses with welcome guidance on the key areas of focus for the ACCC, and the factors the ACCC will take into account in determining which matters it will pursue.
In launching the Compliance and Enforcement Policy, ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, outlined an extensive focus on enforcement activities across a range of industries, noting that “strong enforcement by the ACCC is at the top of the list” for 2013. This is consistent with Mr Sims’ stated intention to pursue litigation in circumstances where the outcome is not certain.
The ACCC has indicated that it will focus its resources on pursing enforcement activities on:
- conduct that causes substantial detriment to consumers or business;
- unconscionable conduct (particularly conduct that involves large businesses);
- conduct that affects disadvantaged or vulnerable consumers;
- conduct that involves significant or emerging markets; and
- issues that affect an entire industry.
It will also place an increased focus on conduct in concentrated markets that has an impact on small businesses.
For a more fullsome overview of the policy and the areas of ACCC focus, see our client alert prepared by Wayne Leach and Chris Steger.