The ACCC has issued the following selected media releases:

Industry regulation and regulatory control

ACCC issues report on private health insurance

The ACCC report on 'anti-competitive and other practices by health funds and providers in relation to private health insurance' has been tabled in the Senate. The ACCC produces an annual report on 'any anti-competitive or other practices by health insurers or providers which reduce the extent of health cover for consumers and increase their out-of-pocket medical and other expenses' in accordance with a Senate order. This year the report focused on the practice by insurers of not recognising certain types of allied healthcare provider who offer the same or similar services as other types of 'recognised' provider.

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Growth in passenger numbers continuing to drive airport profits and need for new investment

The ACCC has released its annual Airport Monitoring Report for 2011-12 calling for increased investment to avoid excessive congestion in the future. The ACCC is required to report annually on the performance of Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney Airports. "The 2011-12 report shows that monitored airports continued to be profitable but the overall quality of service was lower at all airports compared with the previous year," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

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ACCC report finds no cross-subsidy in Australia Post

The ACCC has issued its eighth report assessing cross-subsidy between the services provided by Australia Post. Australia Post has a statutory monopoly over the delivery of standard letters weighing less than 250g that cost no more than $2.40 to send. All other services provided by Australia Post are open to competition. "The regulatory accounts do not show that Australia Post is cross-subsidising its competitive services with revenue from its monopoly services," ACCC Commissioner Joe Dimasi said.

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Mergers and acquisitions

ACCC to not oppose CBA's proposed acquisition of Aussie Home Loans

The ACCC has announced that it would not oppose the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's proposed acquisition of the remaining 67% of the issued capital in AHL Holdings Pty Limited (Aussie Home Loans). The Commonwealth Bank already owns 33% of the shares in Aussie Home Loans.

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ACCC to not oppose Virgin Australia's proposed acquisition of 60% of Tiger Australia

The ACCC has announced that it will not oppose the proposed acquisition by Virgin Australia Holdings Limited of 60% of Tiger Airways Australia Pty Ltd.

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Market behaviour

ACCC authorises coordination between Jetstar joint ventures

The ACCC has granted authorisation to Qantas Airways Limited and Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd for coordination involving four Asian based Jetstar branded joint ventures until 31 March 2018. The authorisation allows Jetstar Airways and the Jetstar joint ventures to coordinate with each other on passenger and cargo services, predominately on intra-Asian routes.

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ACCC grants conditional authorisation for an alliance between Qantas and Emirates

The ACCC has decided to grant authorisation, subject to a condition, for an alliance between Qantas Airways Limited and Emirates until 31 March 2018. The alliance will involve coordination of the airlines' passenger and cargo transport operations and other related services.

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ACCC allows dentists in shared practices to agree on fees

The ACCC has decided to allow dental practitioners who operate in shared practices to reach agreements on the fees that they charge their patients, where at least one party to the agreement is a member of the Australian Dental Association Inc. The Australian Dental Association sought authorisation because dentists who operate as separate legal entities may be at risk of engaging in price fixing or other anti-competitive conduct if they agreed upon the fees charge for treatments within the shared practice.

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ACCC grants interim authorisation to councils

The ACCC has granted interim authorisation to Wollongong City Council and Shellharbour City Council to enable them to request and evaluate tenders for the collection of waste and the processing of recyclables. "Interim authorisation will allow the two councils to commence the tender and tender evaluation process. This will ensure that the tender process will be completed in time for the new contracts to be implemented by 30 June 2014," ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

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Japanese cable supplier to pay $1.35 million penalty for cartel conduct

The Federal Court in Adelaide has ordered a penalty of $1.35 million against Japanese cable supplier Viscas Corporation in respect of bid rigging and price fixing conduct in proceedings brought by the ACCC. The penalty follows Viscas admitting that, in September 2003, it reached an anti-competitive arrangement with other Japanese and European suppliers of land cables in relation to an invitation to tender issued by Snowy Hydro Limited.

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ACCC approves National Tyre Stewardship Program

The ACCC has issued a final decision to authorise a national Tyre Stewardship Scheme for five years. "The ACCC is satisfied that the Scheme is likely to result in a benefit to the public by reducing the volume of used tyres entering the domestic waste stream or being exported overseas and burned for fuel in an environmentally unsustainable way," ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

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ACCC rejects minimum advertising price proposed for selected electrical goods

The ACCC has issued a determination denying authorisation to Narta International Pty Ltd for proposed arrangements allowing it to set a minimum advertising price on a range of consumer electrical goods.

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ACCC authorises agreement between RWWA and Sportingbet

The ACCC has granted authorisation to Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) for an agreement to acquire fixed odds management services from Sportingbet Australia Pty Ltd. The ACCC has authorised the agreement for five years.

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ACCC authorises agreement between Tabcorp and ACTTAB

The ACCC has granted authorisation to Tabcorp Wagering Manager (Vic) Pty Ltd (Tabcorp) for its agreement with ACTTAB Limited (ACTTAB) to provide fixed odds wagering management services. The agreement enables ACTTAB to provide the same fixed odds wagering services to its customers as those provided by Tabcorp. In return, Tabcorp will earn management fees.

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Manning Valley Dairy farmers to collectively bargain with Woolworths

The ACCC has decided to allow seven dairy farmers from Manning Valley in New South Wales to collectively bargain with Woolworths and Milk2Market for 3 years.

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Telecommunications

ACCC issues draft decision on NBN Co Special Access Undertaking

The ACCC has released its draft decision on the revised Special Access Undertaking (SAU) lodged by NBN Co. If accepted, the SAU would be a key part of the framework that governs the price and other terms upon which NBN Co will supply services over its fibre, wireless and satellite networks to telecommunications companies.

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ACCC directs Telstra to amend further measures developed under the migration plan

The ACCC has directed Telstra to improve two measures that will support the migration of customers onto the National Broadband Network (NBN). These measures relate to a specific process that will be used by NBN Co in limited circumstances to connect premises to the NBN.

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