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))
- 20 Nov 2020:
Melbourne City Council v Telstra Corporation Limited  FCAFC 200
COMMUNICATIONS LAW - whether New Payphone Cabinets are "low-impact facilities" within the meaning of clause 6 of Sch 3 to the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) exempt from planning laws - where Telstra sought planning approval to display commercial advertising on New Payphone Cabinets - where New Payphone Cabinets to be installed only after…
Judge: Gleeson, Charlesworth, O'Bryan JJ
- 5 Nov 2020:
Australian Energy Regulator v EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd  FCA 1647
CONSUMER LAW - supply of electricity to consumers - where the respondent failed to treat certain customers as hardship customers within the meaning of its hardship policy - where certain customers were wrongfully de-energised (or disconnected) in contravention of the respondent's hardship policy and the National Energy Retail Law
Judge: Moshinsky J
- 23 Oct 2020:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd (No 2)  FCA 1542
COSTS - interlocutory application challenging claims for legal professional privilege - where privilege claims of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ('ACCC') upheld - where ACCC sought order that costs should follow the event - where party challenging the privilege claims sought no order as to costs - ordinary rule that a successful…
Judge: Wigney J
- 19 Oct 2020:
TX Australia Pty Limited v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (No 2)  FCA 1503
COSTS - application by intervener for unsuccessful party to cover costs of proceeding or alternatively costs of notice to produce - application to intervene allowed on the basis intervener would bear own costs - intervener's argument in proceedings no different to successful party's - compliance with notice to produce part obligation as intervener …
Judge: Jagot J
- 15 Oct 2020:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Google LLC  FCA 1563
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for discovery of 58 "categories" - whether categories were directly relevant within the meaning of r 20.14 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) - consideration of delay in bringing application - discovery of some categories ordered
Judge: Thawley J
- 2 Oct 2020:
Mayfield Development Corporation Pty Ltd v NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd (No 2)  FCA 1431
COSTS - application for indemnity costs following dismissal of application for leave to appeal - whether applicant failed unreasonably to accept an offer of compromise
Judge: Yates J
- 17 Sep 2020:
Mayfield Development Corporation Pty Ltd v NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd  FCA 1334
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for leave to appeal from an interlocutory judgment dismissing the applicant's application for non-party discovery in circumstances where the primary proceeding has been stayed by agreement - whether primary judge misconstrued s 83(1) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) - whether primary judge erred…
Judge: Yates J
- 16 Sep 2020:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Australian Competition Tribunal  FCAFC 154
COSTS - where Australian Competition and Consumer Commission brought separate application to review decision by the Australian Competition Tribunal - where application by ACCC dismissed on basis that application should not have been commenced - whether costs should follow the event - no order as to costs
Judge: Allsop CJ, Beach and Colvin JJ
- 27 Aug 2020:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd  FCA 1232
PRIVILEGE - interlocutory application challenging claim for legal professional privilege - advice privilege - litigation privilege - without prejudice privilege - communications and documents involving in-house lawyers - affidavits inadequate to sustain claims of privilege - appropriate for court to inspect communications and documents - dominant…
Judge: Wigney J
- 24 Aug 2020:
Glencore Coal Assets Australia Pty Ltd v Australian Competition Tribunal  FCAFC 145
COMPETITION - applications for review of decision of the Australian Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) reviewing decision of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) - where ACCC made an arbitration determination pursuant to s 44S of Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA) - where Tribunal conducted a "re-arbitration" pursuant… 382 ALR 331
Judge: Allsop CJ, Beach and Colvin JJ
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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.