- Mergers, takeovers and restructurings
- Litigation, ACCC Investigations and Prosecutions
- Regulatory approvals
- Immunity applications
- Marketing and advertising
- Compliance programs
Mergers, takeovers and restructurings
Our Competition Law Group successfully obtains ACCC informal clearance for significant mergers and acquisitions. Examples include:
Advised FOXTEL, Australia's largest subscription television provider, on obtaining competition clearance for the acquisition of regional subscription television provider, AUSTAR United Communications Limited.
Advised Hutchison on the competition aspects of its merger in Australia with Vodafone Australia. The joint venture, which delivers equal ownership of 50 per cent, was renamed VHA Pty Limited.
Advised St.George on the successful merger with Westpac and obtaining ACCC approval of the merger. This was the first significant bank merger that the ACCC considered in eight years.
A$20 billion cash and share offer for Coles Group.
A$2.3 billion merger with Smorgon Steel Ltd.
US$1.7 billion acquisition of a global company by a Macquarie Bank-led consortium.
A$2.8 billion proposed acquisition of Symbion Healthcare.
Brambles Information Management
A$260 million acquisition of Ausdoc.
Global acquisition of Netherlands-based Organon BioSciences NV.
Acquisition of the Federal Publishing Company Community Media Group.
A$2.9 billion acquisition of Coates Hire.
A$1.2 billion acquisition of Basslink.
Advised Rio Tinto on its response to BHP's US$192 billion takeover approach, and on the Australian aspects of its $44 billion acquisition of Alcan.
A$4 billion acquisition of Adelaide Bank.
Litigation, ACCC Investigations and Prosecutions
Our Competition Law Group continually represents clients in landmark competition law litigation and in major investigations conducted by the ACCC. Recent experience includes:
News Limited, Foxtel, Premier Media Group
Successfully defended allegations of breach of Part IV of the Trade Practices Act in the high profile 'C7' case.
Acting for Amcor in the ACCC cartel investigation and subsequent proceedings.
Acted in ACCC investigation and proceedings alleging collusive conduct. Resolved proceedings on behalf of Liquorland and the ACCC proceeded against Woolworths only.
Acted in High Court proceedings challenging the ambit of the ACCC's information gathering powers.
George Weston Foods
Acted in ACCC investigation and proceedings for attempted price fixing.
The Barton Group
Advising this global alluvial garnet producer in relation to an ACCC investigation into alleged market sharing arrangements.
Our Competition Law Group has advised a range of organisations on the ACCC's authorisation and notification procedures. Recent experience includes:
16-year ACCC exemption for the PNG Gas Project to engage in joint marketing.
Community Care Underwriting Agency
Authorisation for a joint venture between QBE, NRMA and Allianz that provides public liability insurance to not-for-profit organisations.
Authorisation for the Code of Conduct, which regulates industry conduct for the marketing of pharmaceuticals in Australia.
Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Advising in relation to the introduction of full retail competition in the Victorian electricity and gas industries. This involved considerable negotiation and consultation with the ACCC.
Shell / Coles alliance
Advising on an exclusive dealing notification to the ACCC relating to the establishment of an operations entity formed to manage Shell's core retail property network as part of a commercial alliance between Shell and Coles Myer.
Our Competition Law Group has advised clients on immunity applications to the ACCC under its Immunity Policy for cartel conduct. The ACCC developed the Immunity Policy (formerly known as the 'Leniency Policy') in 2003 to provide incentives for those engaged in cartel behaviour to self-report. Recent experience includes:
Advising Amcor in relation to the much publicised investigation by the ACCC, and the NZCC, into alleged cartel behaviour in the corrugated box industry in Australia. Amcor was granted immunity by the ACCC and the NZCC in accordance with their Leniency Policies.
Wikborg, Rein & Co
Assisting a client of this Norwegian law firm on an application to the ACCC under the Leniency Policy, and entering into an information protocol with the ACCC to conduct the presentations via a paperless procedure.
Advising a number of clients on confidential applications under the Immunity Policy.
Marketing and advertising
Our Competition Law Group advises clients on a range of competition law issues associated with marketing and advertising. Recent experience includes:
Hutchison 3G Australia and AAPT
Advising these clients on the full range of federal and state consumer protection legislation, including issues relating to the advertising of telecoms products and the industry-specific regulatory guidelines and codes, state and territory fair trading and direct selling legislation, and the application of the unfair contract terms provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic) to mobile standard form agreements.
Advising on a range of advertising clearance issues as well as acting for it in its successful Full Federal Court Appeal concerning a comparative advertising campaign for Duracell batteries. We also acted for Gillette in Federal Court proceedings against Energizer concerning allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct regarding Energizer's Schick Quattro razor and Gillette's Mach3 Turbo razor, the case being settled in Gillette's favour.
Acting in Federal Court proceedings brought by FOXTEL against the Australian Video Retailers Association for misleading and deceptive conduct in an advertising campaign.
Advising in relation to an action brought by Panadol concerning Herron's television advertisements involving comparative advertising with Panadol's product.
Our Competition Law Group is experienced in reviewing our clients' operations, reporting systems, past trade practices advice and risk management systems to determine whether trade practices compliance can be improved. We have developed an on-line training guide on trade practices and fair trading issues that can be tailored to our cilents' businesses. For more information please refer to our compliance guides page.
We have developed and conducted programs on trade practices compliance for a wide range of organisations, including: