The Australian Competition and Consumer Act passed in the year 2010 was a landmark law defining the rights and obligations of a consumer in Australia. The law is also an elucidative treatise on ethical competition between businesses as well as anti-competitive practices between enterprises. The Australian Competition and Consumer Act provides insight into the intricate provisions of Australian common law that bar incumbent businesses from practices that can prevent or discourage the entry of new enterprises in any field.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Act was formerly known as the Trade Practices Act of 1974. The law throws light on how competition must be carried out between business enterprises. It is a set of guiding principles and directives that shed light on what businesses must refrain from doing.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Act provides for the ideal conduct of business not just with their competitors but also with their suppliers and customers. The basic purpose of The Australian Competition and Consumer Act is to ensure that all businesses operating with the Australian markets compete with one another on an equal footing. It also aims at creating an environment that is conducive to healthy competition and ethical growth.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Act has been formulated to allow all businesses to compete with one another under open and transparent market conditions. There are very particular statutory provisions in The Australian Competition and Consumer Act that deal with the fair treatment of consumers, competing brands, new entrants in the market as well as the other parties involved in the supply chain. For this purpose, there are several schedules and annexures in the body of the consumer law in Australia.
The principal objective behind theAustralian Competition and Consumer Act is that every business; new and old must get an environment that is truly conducive to growth and expansion. The business enterprises must be able to compete with each other on their merits and not on other factors such as market dominance, existing customer share, industry incumbency etc. the law provides special provisions for new and small businesses to protect them from anti-competitive practices of bigger businesses. This is also important to ensure that the consumers are treated fairly. The Australian Competition and Consumer Act is an informative set of laws that guide consumers and new businesses on their rights.
The Sofia and Mia Case was a landmark case in the history and timeline of the Australian competition law. It brought to the fore the most salient features of The Australian Competition and Consumer Act. The judge passed a detailed judgement on the case highly the important features of the law that protect small businesses:
The commission also has the power to provide immunity to businesses from legal action. The agency has the power to investigate to find out the irregularity in the business practices of companies. The agency also has the right to initiate class-action suits against businesses for misconduct that breach the CCA in any way.
The agency also promulgates and throws light on anti-competitive practices being performed by certain businesses to warn the other players in the industry.
Australian Competition and Consumer Act also contains provisions to refer the consumers to other agencies if the issue does not fall under the gambit of CCA.
Another important function of the agency is that it provides business owners with information, assistance and support about the initiatives and functions of the CCA through the ACCC website. Business owners can also seek assistance and guidance on phone or through the publications of the agency.
However, there are certain limitations to the powers of the Australian Competition and Consumer Act. The agency does not have the power to give legal advice. Businesses must consult lawyers in those regards. The agency also does not have the power or competence to advise business owners on matters related to breach of contract. Also, the scope of the Australian Competition and Consumer Act does not include the resolution of financial disputes or those related to intellectual property rights.
The agency can also comment on whether a business has good standing and reputation in the business markets. It also helps the consumers in identifying which businesses are better for investment than the others.
The agency also provides arbitration, dispute resolution services and mediation. The LAW2000 Consumer Act 2010 and Sofia & Mia Case Study are intricately related to one another. The students of consumer law often have to study the Sofia and Mia case.
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