Nurofen struck by the targeted pain of penalties

We called it! The ACCC won its appeal against the measly $1.7M fine to Reckitt Benckiser for misleading consumers with its Nurofen pain specific product range. The $1.7M fine was manifestly inadequate for several reasons, including the fact that Reckitt Benckiser charged consumers almost double the price of standard Nurofen, just for laughs, and made an easy $45M from it. We reckon Reckitt Benckiser still got off relatively pain free. A $6M fine for $45M revenue is a decent ROI.

The cartel crackdown continues

The ACCC has continued busting up the bad guys, finishing the year strong by nailing ANZ and Macquarie for attempted cartel conduct. They each got done for attempting to influence other banks' submissions on the benchmark rate for the Malaysian ringgit. ANZ was slapped with a fine of $9 million while Macquarie was fined $6 million. Moral of the story? Don't try dodgy deals with your competitors and the ACCC won't hunt you down.

Flight Centre's deal with airlines comes crashing down

The elation of its Full Federal Court victory didn't last long for Flight Centre who was promptly brought back down to earth after the ACCC won its appeal in the High Court. The travel agency known famously for its `price beat guarantee' tried to convince Emirates, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines not to undercut it on price. The big question was whether Flight Centre competed with the airlines to sell international airline tickets, even though it was also the airlines' agent. Flight Centre was found to compete with the airlines. That meant Flight Centre's conduct could substantially reduce competition between it and the airlines. Which is bad. A fine is yet to be imposed so watch this space.

It's getting hot in here

Things got a little heated for Dulux who was recently fined $400,000 for advertising that two of its paints would significantly reduce the interior temperature of a house. Dulux later conceded that in fact there was no reliable evidence to support these claims in other words, it totes made it up because it's cool like that.

Not so eggcellent success rates

A recent ACCC investigation into misleading claims made by Australian IVF providers has led to a number of the major IVF clinics scrambling to make changes to the success rates published on their websites. The ACCC found that some clinics had published `clinical pregnancy rate' data however failed to mention that a clinical pregnancy rate was in fact the technical, industry term used for a clinic's success in creating an embryo and not the number of babies actually born. Big difference!