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

  • 28 Jun 2022: Australian Energy Regulator v Hornsdale Power Reserve Pty Ltd [2022] FCA 738
    CONSUMER LAW -- application for declarations of contraventions of National Electricity Rules (NER) pursuant to s 44AAG(1) of Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CC Act) and order for payment of civil penalty pursuant to s 44AAG(2)(a) of CC Act -- where respondent "Registered Participant" in National Electricity Market (NEM) and registered…
    Judge: Besanko J
  • 28 Jun 2022: Australian Energy Regulator v AGL HP 1 Pty Ltd [2022] FCA 737
    CONSUMER LAW -- application for declaration of contravention of National Electricity Rules (NER) pursuant to s 44AAG(1) of Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CC Act), imposition of pecuniary penalties pursuant to s 44AAG(2)(a) of CC Act and order for engagement of compliance expert pursuant to s 44AAG(2) of CC Act -- where respondents…
    Judge: Besanko J
  • 1 Jun 2022: Australian Energy Regulator v EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd [2022] FCA 644
    CORPORATIONS - where EnergyAustralia admitted to numerous contraventions of the National Energy Retail Rules - where contraventions concerned a failure to properly register customers depending upon life support equipment - where registration protects such customers from disconnection in particular circumstances, including non-payment - where…
    Judge: Colvin J
  • 8 Apr 2022: Commissioner of Taxation v Balasubramaniyan [2022] FCA 374
    FOREIGN ACQUISITIONS - acquisition of real property - residential property - contraventions of Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) - passive investments - contraventions of s 94(1) concerning failure to notify residential land acquisitions - contraventions of s 95(1) concerning holding an interest in more than one established…
    Judge: Beach J
  • 4 Apr 2022: Epic Games, Inc v Apple Inc (Case Management) [2022] FCA 341
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - where two matters likely have overlapping issues - where matters have common Applicant - when matters are to be listed for trial whether matters are to be heard together or sequentially
    Judge: Perram J
  • 25 Mar 2022: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Australasian Food Group Pty Ltd [2022] FCA 308
    COMPETITION - exclusive dealing - where the respondent was an Australian manufacturer and wholesale supplier of single serve ice cream products - where the respondent acquired services from a distributor (PFD) on condition that PFD would not, without the respondent's prior written consent, sell or distribute single serve ice cream products that…
    Judge: Moshinsky J
  • 21 Mar 2022: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Mazda Australia Pty Ltd (No 2) [2022] FCA 250
    CONSUMER LAW - misleading and deceptive conduct -where respondent contravened ss 18(1) and 29(1)(m) of Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) by making false representations concerning the existence or effect of consumer guarantees - form of declarations
    Judge: O'Callaghan J
  • 14 Feb 2022: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v J Hutchinson Pty Ltd [2022] FCA 98
    COMPETITION LAW - where construction company and union had practice of consulting about proposed subcontractors - where union used consultation process to pressure construction company to engage subcontractors which had an enterprise bargaining agreement which was covered by that union - where construction company engaged subcontractor which did…
    Judge: Downes J
  • 4 Feb 2022: Epic Games, Inc v Google LLC (Stay Application) [2022] FCA 66
    PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW - application for stay of proceedings - where proceedings allege contraventions of Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) ('CCA') Pt IV and Australian Consumer Law ('ACL') s 21 - where exclusive jurisdiction clause requires litigation to occur in California - where clause subject to challenge under the CCA and ACL -… 399 ALR 119
    Judge: Perram J
  • 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 … 158 ACSR 31
    Judge: O'Callaghan 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.