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Overview - Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 – Competition Laws 

Last Modified: 16th May 2024

Summary 

  • Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 is directed at enhancing the welfare of Australians through the protection of competition and prohibition of anti-competitive conduct.  

  • It is concerned with the protection of competition, in particular, injury to competition that arises from practices that raise prices. 

  • Some conduct prohibited by Part IV is regarded as so inherently likely to damage competition that it is per se (automatically) illegal.  In other words, it is prohibited automatically without any need to establish any effect on competition or a particular market.  

  • Other conduct is only prohibited if it has a substantial purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition  in a market. 

Automatic (per se) Prohibitions 

The automatic (per se) prohibitions are against: 

  • Cartel conduct  

  • Price fixing 

  • Resale price maintenance  

  • Some boycott conduct  

Scope of the Prohibitions 

  • Part IV applies to all corporations, and to a limited extent to individuals. 

  • It applies to conduct affecting markets within Australia and has some extra-territorial effect. 

  • Each provision has its own particular requirements for application or extra-territorial effect. 

  • It applies to all levels of government and governmental authorities to the extent that they are carrying on a business. 

Resale Price Maintenance  

What is Resale Price Maintenance:  

  • Where a supplier, manufacturer or wholesaler sets, or tries to set, minimum prices of goods or services to prevent businesses from (re)selling at a lesser price or at a discounted price. 

  • Prohibition on restriction on selling includes restriction on: 

    • Advertising; 

    • Displaying; 

    • Offering. 

  • Save for lawful exceptions, Resale Price Maintenance is prohibited. 

A company cannot: 

  • Set the minimum resale price for goods and services, or 

  • Refuse to supply a dealer/retailer or threaten to withhold supply because they have supplied below a minimum price 

Overview of Competition Laws  

Competition law prohibits conduct that limits or prevents competition in a market. Generally speaking, these laws prohibit: 

  • cartel conduct, which involves contracts, arrangements or understandings between competitors that are directed at fixing prices; limiting capacity, output or supply; allocating customers, suppliers or territories; or rigging bids, 

  • making or giving effect to an anti-competitive contract, arrangement or understanding, including arrangements which substantially limit the ability of rivals to compete, 

  • exchanging competitively sensitive information with competitors, where this has a material impact on competition, 

  • any other types of conduct that has the purpose or likely effect of substantially lessening competition. 

Competition and Consumer Law Penalties 

  • Executives and employees can potentially face fines of up to $2,500,000 per contravention and be banned from being a company director or company manager for life.  

  • Corporations are subject to: 

    • fines of up to A$50 million, or  

    • three times the value of the benefit gained, or,  

    • if the gain cannot be ascertained, 30% of annual group turnover (during the breach period) — whichever is the highest, 

    • for each violation/contravention. 

Questions and Complaints: Making and resolving a complaint 

If you have any questions about the Competition and Consumer laws, please contact your Manager or the TTI Compliance Officer. If you have a complaint, take the following steps to get your complaint resolved: 

Step 1. Discuss your complaint with your Manager. 

Step 2. If your complaint cannot be resolved at Step 1, or you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you can choose one of the following ways to lodge a formal complaint with the TTI Compliance Officer: 

  • By Email:  complianceofficer@ttibrands.com.au 
  • By Mail: Techtronic Industries Australia Pty Ltd, PO Box 302 Mount Waverley VIC 3149 
  • By Phone: Call the TTI Customer Service Team on 1300 645 928 and they will direct your call 

Step 3. We will acknowledge your complaint and may request additional information be provided to ensure an efficient resolution. 

Step 4. We will assess your complaint and keep you informed about the progress of your complaint.  

Step 5.  Upon resolution, you will be provided with an outcome.