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Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Authoritative Version
Act No. 51 of 1974 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Fuel Security (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Act 2021
An Act relating to competition, fair trading and consumer protection, and for other purposes
Administered by: Attorney-General's; Treasury; Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
Registered 27 Sep 2021
Start Date 01 Sep 2021
Table of contents.
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Collapse Volume 1Volume 1
Collapse Part I—PreliminaryPart I—Preliminary
1 Short title
2 Object of this Act
2A Application of Act to Commonwealth and Commonwealth authorities
2B Application of Act to States and Territories
2BA Application of Part IV to local government bodies
2C Activities that are not business
3 Repeal
4 Interpretation
4A Subsidiary, holding and related bodies corporate
4B Consumers
4C Acquisition, supply and re-supply
4E Market
4F References to purpose or reason
4G Lessening of competition to include preventing or hindering competition
4H Application of Act in relation to leases and licences of land and buildings
4J Joint ventures
4K Loss or damage to include injury
4KA Definitions etc. that do not apply in Part XI or Schedule 2
4L Severability
4M Saving of law relating to restraint of trade and breaches of confidence
4N Extended application of Part IIIA
5 Extended application of this Act to conduct outside Australia
6 Extended application of this Act to persons who are not corporations
6AA Application of the Criminal Code
Expand Part II—The Australian Competition and Consumer CommissionPart II—The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Expand Part IIA—The National Competition CouncilPart IIA—The National Competition Council
Expand Part III—The Australian Competition TribunalPart III—The Australian Competition Tribunal
Expand Part IIIAA—The Australian Energy Regulator (AER)Part IIIAA—The Australian Energy Regulator (AER)
Expand Part IIIAB—Application of the finance lawPart IIIAB—Application of the finance law
Expand Part IIIA—Access to servicesPart IIIA—Access to services
Expand Part IV—Restrictive trade practicesPart IV—Restrictive trade practices
Expand Part IVB—Industry codesPart IVB—Industry codes
Expand Part IVBA—News media and digital platforms mandatory bargaining codePart IVBA—News media and digital platforms mandatory bargaining code
Expand Part IVC—Payment surchargesPart IVC—Payment surcharges
Expand Part IVD—Consumer data rightPart IVD—Consumer data right
Expand Part V—Carbon tax price reduction obligationPart V—Carbon tax price reduction obligation
Expand Part VI—Enforcement and remediesPart VI—Enforcement and remedies
Expand Part VIA—Proportionate liability for misleading and deceptive conductPart VIA—Proportionate liability for misleading and deceptive conduct
Expand Part VIB—Claims for damages or compensation for death or personal injuryPart VIB—Claims for damages or compensation for death or personal injury
Expand Part VII—Authorisations and notificationsPart VII—Authorisations and notifications
Expand Part VIIA—Prices surveillancePart VIIA—Prices surveillance
Expand Part VIII—Resale price maintenancePart VIII—Resale price maintenance
Expand Part IX—Review by Tribunal of Determinations of CommissionPart IX—Review by Tribunal of Determinations of Commission
Expand Volume 2Volume 2
Expand Volume 3Volume 3

Commonwealth Coat of Arms of Australia

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

No. 51, 1974

Compilation No. 137

Compilation date:                              1 September 2021

Includes amendments up to:            Act No. 66, 2021

Registered:                                         27 September 2021

This compilation is in 3 volumes

Volume 1:       sections 1–110

Volume 2:       sections 10.01–186

Volume 3:       Schedules

                        Endnotes

Each volume has its own contents

This compilation includes commenced amendments made by Act No. 13, 2021

About this compilation

This compilation

This is a compilation of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 that shows the text of the law as amended and in force on 1 September 2021 (the compilation date).

The notes at the end of this compilation (the endnotes) include information about amending laws and the amendment history of provisions of the compiled law.

Uncommenced amendments

The effect of uncommenced amendments is not shown in the text of the compiled law. Any uncommenced amendments affecting the law are accessible on the Legislation Register (www.legislation.gov.au). The details of amendments made up to, but not commenced at, the compilation date are underlined in the endnotes. For more information on any uncommenced amendments, see the series page on the Legislation Register for the compiled law.

Application, saving and transitional provisions for provisions and amendments

If the operation of a provision or amendment of the compiled law is affected by an application, saving or transitional provision that is not included in this compilation, details are included in the endnotes.

Editorial changes

For more information about any editorial changes made in this compilation, see the endnotes.

Modifications

If the compiled law is modified by another law, the compiled law operates as modified but the modification does not amend the text of the law. Accordingly, this compilation does not show the text of the compiled law as modified. For more information on any modifications, see the series page on the Legislation Register for the compiled law.

Self‑repealing provisions

If a provision of the compiled law has been repealed in accordance with a provision of the law, details are included in the endnotes.

  

  

  


Contents

Part I—Preliminary                                                                                                              1

1............................ Short title............................................................................ 1

2............................ Object of this Act................................................................ 1

2A......................... Application of Act to Commonwealth and Commonwealth authorities    1

2B.......................... Application of Act to States and Territories........................ 2

2BA....................... Application of Part IV to local government bodies............. 2

2C.......................... Activities that are not business............................................ 3

3............................ Repeal................................................................................. 4

4............................ Interpretation....................................................................... 5

4A......................... Subsidiary, holding and related bodies corporate.............. 19

4B.......................... Consumers........................................................................ 22

4C.......................... Acquisition, supply and re‑supply.................................... 22

4E.......................... Market.............................................................................. 23

4F.......................... References to purpose or reason....................................... 23

4G......................... Lessening of competition to include preventing or hindering competition                24

4H......................... Application of Act in relation to leases and licences of land and buildings              24

4J........................... Joint ventures.................................................................... 24

4K.......................... Loss or damage to include injury...................................... 25

4KA....................... Definitions etc. that do not apply in Part XI or Schedule 2 25

4L.......................... Severability....................................................................... 25

4M......................... Saving of law relating to restraint of trade and breaches of confidence    25

4N......................... Extended application of Part IIIA..................................... 26

5............................ Extended application of this Act to conduct outside Australia  26

6............................ Extended application of this Act to persons who are not corporations     27

6AA...................... Application of the Criminal Code..................................... 35

Part II—The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission     36

6A......................... Establishment of Commission.......................................... 36

7............................ Constitution of Commission............................................. 37

8............................ Terms and conditions of appointment............................... 37

8A......................... Associate members........................................................... 37

8AB....................... AER members taken to be associate members.................. 39

9............................ Remuneration.................................................................... 39

10.......................... Deputy Chairpersons........................................................ 40

11.......................... Acting Chairperson........................................................... 40

12.......................... Leave of absence............................................................... 41

13.......................... Termination of appointment of members of the Commission.. 41

14.......................... Termination of appointment of associate members of the Commission    42

15.......................... Resignation....................................................................... 43

16.......................... Arrangement of business.................................................. 43

17.......................... Disclosure of interests by Chairperson............................. 43

17A....................... Disclosure of certain interests by members of the Commission when taking part in determinations of matters.......................................................................................... 43

18.......................... Meetings of Commission.................................................. 44

19.......................... Chairperson may direct Commission to sit in Divisions... 45

25.......................... Delegation by Commission............................................... 47

26.......................... Delegation by Commission of certain functions and powers 47

27.......................... Staff of Commission......................................................... 49

27A....................... Consultants....................................................................... 49

28.......................... Functions of Commission in relation to dissemination of information, law reform and research             49

29.......................... Commission to comply with directions of Minister and requirements of the Parliament          51

Part IIA—The National Competition Council                                                   52

29A....................... Establishment of Council.................................................. 52

29B........................ Functions and powers of Council..................................... 52

29BA..................... Commonwealth consent to conferral of functions etc. on Council           53

29BB..................... How duty is imposed........................................................ 54

29BC..................... When a State/Territory energy law imposes a duty........... 55

29C........................ Membership of Council.................................................... 55

29D....................... Terms and conditions of office......................................... 55

29E........................ Acting Council President.................................................. 56

29F........................ Remuneration of Councillors............................................ 56

29G....................... Leave of absence............................................................... 56

29H....................... Termination of appointment of Councillors...................... 57

29I......................... Resignation of Councillors............................................... 57

29J......................... Arrangement of Council business..................................... 57

29L........................ Council meetings.............................................................. 58

29LA..................... Resolutions without meetings........................................... 58

29M....................... Staff to help Council......................................................... 59

29N....................... Consultants....................................................................... 59

29O....................... Annual report.................................................................... 59

Part III—The Australian Competition Tribunal                                              61

30.......................... Constitution of Tribunal.................................................... 61

31.......................... Qualifications of members of Tribunal............................. 61

31A....................... Appointment of Judge as presidential member of Tribunal not to affect tenure etc. 61

32.......................... Terms and conditions of appointment............................... 62

33.......................... Remuneration and allowances of members of Tribunal.... 62

34.......................... Acting appointments......................................................... 62

35.......................... Suspension and removal of members of Tribunal............. 64

36.......................... Resignation....................................................................... 64

37.......................... Constitution of Tribunal for particular matters.................. 65

38.......................... Validity of determinations................................................. 65

39.......................... President may give directions........................................... 65

40.......................... Disclosure of interests by members of Tribunal............... 65

41.......................... Presidential member to preside......................................... 66

42.......................... Decision of questions....................................................... 66

43.......................... Member of Tribunal ceasing to be available...................... 66

43A....................... Counsel assisting Tribunal................................................ 67

43B........................ Consultants....................................................................... 67

44.......................... Staff of Tribunal............................................................... 68

44A....................... Acting appointments......................................................... 68

Part IIIAA—The Australian Energy Regulator (AER)                              69

Division 1—Preliminary                                                                                            69

44AB..................... Definitions........................................................................ 69

44AC..................... This Part binds the Crown................................................ 69

44AD.................... Extra‑territorial operation.................................................. 69

Division 2—Establishment of the AER                                                              71

44AE..................... Establishment of the AER................................................. 71

44AF..................... AER to hold money and property on behalf of the Commonwealth         71

44AG.................... Constitution of the AER................................................... 71

Division 3—Functions and powers of the AER                                             72

44AH.................... Commonwealth functions................................................. 72

44AI...................... Commonwealth consent to conferral of functions etc. on AER                72

44AIA................... No merits review of AER decisions................................. 73

44AJ...................... How duty is imposed........................................................ 73

44AK..................... When a State/Territory energy law etc. imposes a duty..... 75

44AL..................... Powers of the AER........................................................... 75

Division 4—Administrative provisions relating to the AER                  76

Subdivision A—Appointment etc. of members                                                 76

44AM.................... Appointment of Commonwealth AER members.............. 76

44AO.................... Acting appointment of Commonwealth AER member...... 76

44AP..................... Appointment of State/Territory AER members................. 77

44AQ.................... Acting appointment of State/Territory AER member........ 77

44AR..................... AER Chair........................................................................ 78

44ARA.................. AER Deputy Chair........................................................... 78

44ARB.................. AER Deputy Chair to act as the AER Chair..................... 79

44AS..................... Acting AER Deputy Chair................................................ 79

44AT..................... Remuneration of AER members....................................... 80

44AU.................... Additional remuneration of AER Chair............................ 80

44AV.................... Leave of absence............................................................... 80

44AW.................... Other terms and conditions............................................... 81

44AX.................... Outside employment......................................................... 81

44AY.................... Disclosure of interests...................................................... 81

44AZ..................... Resignation....................................................................... 82

44AAB.................. Termination of appointment.............................................. 82

Subdivision B—Staff etc. to assist the AER                                                       83

44AAC.................. Staff etc. to assist the AER............................................... 83

Subdivision C—Meetings of the AER etc.                                                          83

44AAD................. Meetings........................................................................... 83

44AAE.................. Resolutions without meetings........................................... 84

44AAEA............... Arbitration........................................................................ 84

Subdivision CA—Divisions of the AER                                                              85

44AAEB............... Divisions of the AER—functions and powers under a law of the Commonwealth 85

44AAEC............... Divisions of the AER—functions and powers under a State/Territory energy law or a local energy instrument.......................................................................................... 87

Subdivision D—Miscellaneous                                                                              89

44AAF.................. Confidentiality.................................................................. 89

44AAFA............... Power of AER to obtain information and documents....... 91

44AAFB............... Failure to comply with notice to give information etc. is an offence         92

44AAFC............... AER may inspect, copy and retain documents.................. 93

44AAG................. Federal Court may make certain orders............................. 94

44AAGA.............. Federal Court may order disconnection if an event specified in the National Electricity Rules occurs     95

44AAH................. Delegation by the AER..................................................... 96

44AAI................... Fees.................................................................................. 96

44AAK.................. Regulations may deal with transitional matters................. 96

Part IIIAB—Application of the finance law                                                       98

44AAL.................. Application of the finance law.......................................... 98

Part IIIA—Access to services                                                                                        99

Division 1—Preliminary                                                                                            99

44AA.................... Objects of Part.................................................................. 99

44B........................ Definitions........................................................................ 99

44C........................ How this Part applies to partnerships and joint ventures 103

44CA..................... Meaning of declaration criteria...................................... 104

44D....................... Meaning of designated Minister..................................... 105

44DA.................... The principles in the Competition Principles Agreement have status as guidelines  106

44E........................ This Part binds the Crown.............................................. 107

Division 2—Declared services                                                                             108

Subdivision A—Recommendation by the Council                                         108

44F........................ Person may request recommendation.............................. 108

44FA..................... Council may request information.................................... 110

44G....................... Criteria for the Council recommending declaration of a service               111

44GA.................... Time limit for Council recommendations........................ 111

44GB..................... Council may invite public submissions on the application 113

44GC..................... Council must publish its recommendation...................... 115

Subdivision B—Declaration by the designated Minister                              116

44H....................... Designated Minister may declare a service..................... 116

44HA.................... Designated Minister must publish his or her decision.... 116

44I......................... Duration and effect of declaration................................... 117

44J......................... Revocation of declaration................................................ 118

44K........................ Review of declaration..................................................... 119

44KA..................... Tribunal may stay operation of declaration..................... 120

44KB..................... Tribunal may order costs be awarded............................. 122

44L........................ Review of decision not to revoke a declaration............... 123

Division 2AA—Services that are ineligible to be declared                   125

Subdivision A—Scope of Division                                                                      125

44LA..................... Constitutional limits on operation of this Division.......... 125

Subdivision B—Ineligibility recommendation by Council                          125

44LB..................... Ineligibility recommendation........................................... 125

44LC..................... Council may request information.................................... 127

44LD..................... Time limit for Council recommendations........................ 128

44LE...................... Council may invite public submissions on the application 130

44LF...................... Council must publish its recommendation...................... 131

Subdivision C—Designated Minister’s decision on ineligibility                 132

44LG..................... Designated Minister’s decision on ineligibility............... 132

44LH..................... Designated Minister must publish his or her decision.... 134

Subdivision D—Revocation of ineligibility decision                                     134

44LI....................... Revocation of ineligibility decision................................. 134

Subdivision E—Review of decisions                                                                  136

44LJ...................... Review of ineligibility decisions..................................... 136

44LK..................... Review of decision to revoke or not revoke an ineligibility decision        138

Subdivision F—Other matters                                                                            140

44LL...................... Ineligibility decisions subject to alteration, cancellation etc. 140

Division 2A—Effective access regimes                                                           141

Subdivision A—Recommendation by Council                                                141

44M....................... Recommendation for a Ministerial decision on effectiveness of access regime        141

44MA.................... Council may request information.................................... 142

Subdivision B—Decision by Commonwealth Minister                                 142

44N....................... Ministerial decision on effectiveness of access regime... 142

Subdivision C—Extensions of Commonwealth Minister’s decision          144

44NA.................... Recommendation by Council.......................................... 144

44NAA................. Council may request information.................................... 145

44NB..................... Decision by the Commonwealth Minister....................... 145

Subdivision CA—Revocation o