The Pilbara Infrastructure Pty Ltd & Anor v Australian Competition Tribunal & Ors [2012] HCA 36

On 14 September 2012 the High Court delivered its judgement, bringing to an end the latest chapter in the 8-year dispute between Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton over attempts by FMG to gain access to the dedicated iron ore railways of each of the two major miners in the Pilbara.  See the G+T client update here.

Global One Mobile Entertainment Pty Ltd v ACCC [2012] FCAFC 134

The Full Federal Court dismissed an appeal by Global One Mobile Entertainment Ltd and 6G Pty Ltd, against an earlier court decision that certain advertisements were misleading or likely to mislead consumers about continuing premium rate mobile phone subscriptions.

P.T. Garuda Indonesia Ltd v Australian Competition & Consumer Commission [2012] HCA 33

The High Court unanimously declared that Garuda Indonesia airline (owned by the Indonesian Government) could not claim sovereign immunity under the Foreign State Immunities Act 1985 (the Act) because the ACCC’s cartel conduct proceedings against it concern a ‘commercial transaction’ within the meaning of s11(1) of the Act. 

ACCC v EDirect Pty Ltd (in liq)  [2012] FCA 976

The Federal Court penalised EDirect Pty Ltd, trading as VIPtel Mobile, $2.5m for misleading and deceptive representations to 350 customers from remote and regional communities that it had verified that there was coverage when it had not verified this and when there was no such coverage. The Federal Court had previously given judgment against EDirect for similar conduct in 2008.  In this instance, Justice Reeves described the conduct as ‘unscrupulous’ and added that:

… If such companies, whether mobile telephone companies or others, do not properly supervise and control their telemarketers to ensure that they comply with Australia’s consumer protection laws they can expect to be dealt with severely”.

ACCC v Jewellery Group Pty Limited  [2012] FCA 848

The ACCC alleged that the respondent made misleading representations in brochures such as "$99 $49.50" or "Was $275 Now $149".  The Federal Court accepted the ACCC’s evidence that the respondent had either never, or only very rarely, sold the items at the strike through price.  Justice Lander concluded that the respondent contravened ss 52 and 53(2) of the then Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA) and invited submissions on relief from the parties.