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

  • 7 May 2021: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Tasmanian Ports Corporation Pty Ltd [2021] FCA 482
    COMPETITION - imposition of a "Marine Precinct Tonnage Charge" (MPTC) after advice of intention to obtain towage and pilotage services from another port services provider - substantial degree of market power - MPTC advised to be payable for the performance of regulatory responsibilities to the State of Tasmania - no assessment of costs of…
    Judge: Davies J
  • 16 Apr 2021: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Google LLC (No 2) [2021] FCA 367
    CONSUMER LAW - alleged contraventions of ss 18, 29 and 33 or 34 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) - whether particular users of mobile devices were misled or likely to be misled into thinking that with the Location History setting "off" and Web & App Activity setting "on" Google LLC would not obtain, retain and use personal data about a…
    Judge: Thawley J
  • 9 Apr 2021: Epic Games, Inc v Apple Inc (Stay Application) [2021] FCA 338
    PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW - application for permanent stay of proceedings alleging contraventions of Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) ('CCA') Pt IV, Australian Consumer Law ('ACL') s 21 - where exclusive jurisdiction clause requires litigation relating to app developer agreement to occur in Northern District of California - where First…
    Judge: Perram J
  • 24 Mar 2021: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v B & K Holdings (Qld) Pty Ltd [2021] FCA 260
    COMPETITION LAW - resale price maintenance - admitted contraventions - agreed penalties and other relief - pecuniary penalty - declaratory relief - injunctive relief - adverse publicity order - compliance program - whether orders sought by agreement appropriate in the circumstances - agreed orders appropriate COMPETITION LAW - adverse publicity…
    Judge: Derrington J
  • 19 Mar 2021: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Colgate-Palmolive Pty Ltd (No 5) [2021] FCA 246
    COSTS - Application for indemnity costs by successful respondent against applicant - where applicant, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, is a regulator - relevant principles regarding order for costs - whether Court should exercise its discretion to award costs other than on a party and party basis - whether ACCC should have been…
    Judge: Wigney J
  • 2 Mar 2021: Epic Games, Inc v Apple Inc (Notice to Produce) [2021] FCA 165
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application to set aside notice to produce documents - whether documents sought relevant - whether notice oppressive
    Judge: Perram J
  • 29 Jan 2021: J Wisbey & Associates Pty Ltd v UBS AG [2021] FCA 36
    REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDINGS - foreign currency instruments - alleged cartel conduct - corporations - practice and procedure - application to replead - group definition - numerous permutations and combinations of claims - pleading of alleged cartel understandings - availability of inferences to be drawn - application to replead refused
    Judge: Beach J
  • 22 Dec 2020: Australian Energy Regulator v Snowtown Wind Farm Stage 2 Pty Ltd [2020] FCA 1845
    CONSUMER LAW - contravention by a wind farm of the National Electricity Rules (NER) - pecuniary penalties pursuant to s 44AAG of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) - declaration of a contravention of the NER - order for implementation of a compliance program.
    Judge: White J
  • 9 Dec 2020: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd (No 3) [2020] FCA 1766
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - claim of public interest immunity by Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet (NSW) over Cabinet documents - class claims - whether documents were Cabinet documents - whether public interest against disclosure is outweighed by public interest in favour of disclosure - limited disclosure
    Judge: Wigney J
  • 30 Nov 2020: Bowen Coking Coal Limited, in the matter of Bowen Coking Coal Limited [2020] FCA 1738
    CORPORATIONS - consideration of an application under s 1322 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the "Act") in relation to a failure on the part of the applicant to lodge a notice, within time, on the Market Announcement Platform ("MAP") of the Australian Securities Exchange in accordance with s 708A(5)(e) and s 708A(6)(a) of the Act in relation to …
    Judge: Greenwood 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.