Competition, Consumer & Regulatory

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is one of Australia's most vigorous regulators, with wide-reaching powers enabling it to scrutinise mergers and other transactions, take action against cartel conduct, enforce other consumer and competition laws and shape industry regulation resulting from market inquiries.

Lawmakers consult closely with the ACCC for input on legal and industry reforms. The ACCC and other regulators are increasingly active in the enforcement of competition and consumer laws.

How we can help

We offer truly unrivalled experience in working with clients to navigate competition and consumer law issues, including:

  • mergers and acquisitions;
  • joint ventures;
  • anti-competitive conduct allegations;
  • investigations and immunity applications;
  • access undertakings and arrangements;
  • enforcement and third-party litigation;
  • marketing and advertising reviews;
  • unfair contract terms and unconscionable conduct;
  • market inquiries and studies; and
  • compliance programs.

We have acted in many of Australia's major cartel investigations, prosecutions and class actions, high-profile mergers, access disputes and consumer protection proceedings. We conduct litigation and represent clients before the ACCC, the Australian Competition Tribunal, the National Competition Council, the Federal Court and the High Court.

Resolving novel and complex regulatory issues

Our strong relationships with the ACCC and other key regulators, and our deep knowledge of how they operate, are the product of years of dealings and interactions. We have a reputation for resolving novel and complex regulatory issues and work with clients to manage the impact of deregulation and legislative changes.

Experience

$1.12bn acquisition of APN Outdoor

Advised on its acquisition by JCDecaux, and its acquisition of Adshel.

US$130+bn acquisition of DuPont

Advised on the acquisition by the Dow Chemical Company and subsequent division into Corteva Agriscience, Dow and DuPont.

Pfizer sale and acquisitions

Advised on the US$11.9 billion sale of its infant nutrition business to Nestlé, the US$17 billion acquisition of Hospira, and the US$68 billion acquisition of Wyeth.

News Corp

Advised on the acquisition of Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd, including its 50% share of Fox Sports and 25% share of Foxtel, the acquisition of Racing Internet Services by Punters Paradise and the sale of Sunday Times to Seven Network.

ANZ $2.85bn divestment

Advised on the divestment of ANZ's life and consumer credit insurance business to Zurich, and the acquisition of its wealth management businesses by IOOF Holdings.

Pfizer misuse of market power

Successfully acted in defence of ACCC proceedings alleging misuse of market power and exclusive dealing, including before the High Court.

PZ Cussons civil cartel proceedings

Successfully defended the first 'hub and spoke' proceedings brought by the ACCC.

Emirates

Acted in defence of now-settled cartel proceedings commenced by the ACCC, alleging that Emirates participated in a global air cargo cartel.

Ford

Acted in ACCC proceedings alleging unconscionable conduct.

ACCC market studies and inquiries

Advised various confidential clients on ACCC inquiries into the retail electricity, dairy, residential mortgage industries and the East Coast gas market. We are currently advising leading industry participants in ACCC inquiries into digital platforms and foreign exchange.

ExxonMobil

Obtained a 16-year ACCC exemption for the PNG Gas Project to engage in joint marketing.

Shell and Coles alliance

Advised 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.