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This article appeared in the Australian Competition Consumer and Contract Law Tracker
 
ACCC unsuccessful in ANZ price fixing case
 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has failed in its price fixing case against the ANZ today.

The case was related to conduct that occurred in 2004 and involved the ANZ requiring one of its mortgage brokers, Mortgage Refunds Pty Ltd, to limit the refund it offered customers to $600 on the sale of ANZ mortgage products. The ACCC claimed that ANZ and Mortgage Refunds were competitors in the market for the provision of loan arrangement services. This would make any agreement to limit refunds in contravention of the price fixing provisions of the then Trade Practices Act 1974 (now the Competition and Consumer Act 2010).

The Federal Court, however, dismissed the proceedings, finding that the ANZ did not participate in the market for loan arrangement services and were not competitors with Mortgage Refunds Pty Ltd. ANZ could therefore not contravene the price fixing provisions of the Act.

There has been no indication yet as to whether the ACCC will appeal the decision.

This case will be reported in the CCH Australian Competition and Consumer Law Reporter Service.

Source: ACCC News Release, ANZ found not to have breached price fixing provisions, NR 255/13, 18 November 2013.

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