ACCC Chairman Rod Sims, provided an insight into the activity of the ACCC in a speech this week at the CEDA conference. Early in the speech he shared some useful stats:
Each year the ACCC receives roughly 160,000 complaints and inquiries. From this pool we have to make a judgment on which matters merit an investigation. This process narrows our scope to about 500 initial investigations, around 140 of which are then conducted at an ‘in-depth’ level.
This activity directly or indirectly sends warnings that often instantly change behaviour. A simple call from the ACCC can be very effective.
From this activity we take around 35 cases to court each year, accept around 30 court enforceable undertakings and issue infringement notices in around 30 matters.
Further on, he talks about unfair contracts for small businesses:
Last year, we looked closely at unfair contract terms. Following the ACCC’s intervention, a range of businesses amended their standard form contracts, removing potentially unfair terms.
This discussion ended with:
There is more work for us in relation to unfair contract terms and we will be taking further enforcement action.
I urge newsagents to read the whole speech.
I wonder if anyone representing newsagents has provided the ACCC with a copy of the magazine distribution contracts and asked for these to be considered against the contracts provided to our competitors. I expect that any comparison would show the newsagent contracts as unfair and anti-competitive.