Competition and Consumer

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No company can afford to ignore the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Competition and Consumer Act (previously the Trade Practices Act) or the Australian Consumer Law. The scope of this area of law is ever expanding and the cost of non-compliance is high. Penalties for breaches are severe, and your company brand, reputation and customer loyalty may all be at stake. Good advice, however, can make the difference between safely achieving your commercial goals and objectives versus falling foul of the ACCC or leaving yourself open to challenge by competitors.

HWL Ebsworth's Competition and Consumer team is experienced in dealing with the full spectrum of competition and consumer law issues, from reviews of advertising and other consumer documents, through structuring arrangements with competitors, to design and implementation of compliance programs or representation of clients before the ACCC and the courts.

Should you ever find the ACCC on your doorstep, we can provide quick and clear advice on how to respond. We can also assist with the legal aspects of your crisis management plan - media relations, customer relations, and other internal or external stakeholder communications.

Our team has acted in major cartel investigations, high profile mergers and consumer protection proceedings. Team members have particular experience in a range of industries, including automotive, manufacturing, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, franchising, aviation and shipping.

Importantly, our advice is provided with common sense and a clear understanding of your business.

We appreciate the big picture as well as the finer points of the law.


The experience of members of our team includes advising on matters related to:

  • providing advertising reviews and related services in Australia to a range of leading corporations, including to one of the world's largest advertising agencies and its related entities;
  • numerous ACCC merger clearances across a range of industries, including BHP Billiton's proposed acquisition of Rio Tinto;
  • managing client responses to price fixing and market sharing cartel investigations;
  • defending ACCC court proceedings, including acting for major airlines in price fixing proceedings brought by the ACCC and successfully representing clients in other major ACCC litigation; and
  • authorisation applications, including obtaining clearances for Qantas’ joint venture arrangements with BA and its code share arrangements with Air Niugini.

Competition Consumer

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