Earlier this week, the ACCC announced its enforcement priorities for 2019.
As well as the enduring priorities of:
- cartel conduct;
- anti-competitive conduct;
- product safety;
- conduct affected vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers; and
- conduct affecting Indigenous consumers,
this year’s focus areas include:
- consumer guarantees on high value electrical products and whitegoods;
- anti-competitive conduct and competition issues in the
financial services sector, including foreign exchange services where fees “seem to remain stubbornly high“;
- opaque pricing of essential services, including telecoms and energy;
- protection for small business, including under franchising and unfair contract requirements; and
- customer loyalty schemes.
A new focus is on emerging issues in advertising and subscriptions on social medial platforms, especially for younger consumers.
In announcing the 2o19 priorities, Chair Rod Sims stated that the ACCC expects 3 significant cartel investigations to be referred to the Commonwealth DPP. The ACCC will also be occupied with the Consumer Data Right, where pilots and generic data sharing are expected to be in place in July, with consumer data to be shared by February next year.