Allens

Experience

Mergers, takeovers and restructurings

Our Competition, Consumer & Regulatory group successfully obtains ACCC informal clearance for significant mergers and acquisitions. Examples include:

Foxtel
Acquisition of a stake in Network Ten. Also advised Foxtel on its Presto joint venture with Seven Network and on its acquisition of AUSTAR.

Pfizer
US$17 billion acquisition of Hospira.

Oracle
US$10 billion acquisition of PeopleSoft, US$6 billion acquisition of Siebel and US$7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Hutchison Telecommunications
Merger with Vodafone in Australia to form Vodafone Hutchison Australia.

St.George Bank
A$67 billion merger with Westpac.

Wesfarmers
A$20 billion acquisition of Coles.

Arrium (formerly OneSteel)
A$2.3 billion merger with Smorgon Steel.

Healthscope
A$2.8 billion proposed acquisition of Symbion Healthcare, disposal of pathology operations.

Brambles
Acquisition of CEVA Logistics' intermediate bulk container business Pallecon.

News Corp Australia
Acquisition of a stake in APN News & Media, and sale of online directory business True Local to Sensis.

M2 Group
Merger with Vocus Communications.

Abbott Laboratories
Acquisition of Guidant Vascular's vascular business.

National Hire
A$2.9 billion acquisition of Coates Hire.

Cityspring
A$1.2 billion acquisition of Basslink.

Rio Tinto
A$44 billion acquisition of Alcan, and response to BHP's US$192 billion takeover approach.

Bendigo Bank
A$4 billion acquisition of Adelaide Bank.

West Australian Newspapers
A$4.1 billion acquisition of Seven Media Group.

Litigation, Cartels, Enforcement and Investigations

Our Competition, Consumer & Regulatory group continually represents clients in landmark competition law litigation and in major investigations conducted by the ACCC. Recent experience includes:

Pfizer
Acting in defence of ACCC proceedings alleging misuse of market power and exclusive dealing.

PZ Cussons
Acting in defence of ACCC proceedings in relation to an alleged 'hub and spoke' cartel in the supply of concentrated laundry powders.

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

Investment banks
Acting in ACCC and ASIC investigations regarding aspects of their trading activity.

News Limited, Foxtel, Premier Media Group
Successfully defended allegations of anti-competitive conduct in the high profile 'C7' case.

Amcor
Acting for Amcor in the ACCC cartel investigation and subsequent proceedings.

Liquorland
Acting in ACCC investigation and proceedings alleging collusive conduct. We resolved proceedings on behalf of Liquorland and the ACCC proceeded to judgment against the co-respondent only.

Coles
Acting in the high-profile ACCC proceedings alleging unconscionable conduct, now settled. Also acted in High Court proceedings challenging the ambit of the ACCC's information gathering powers.

Norcast
Acting in proceedings against Bradken alleging cartel conduct and misleading or deceptive conduct.

George Weston Foods
Acting in ACCC investigation and proceedings for alleged attempted price fixing.

Regulatory approvals

Our Competition, Consumer & Regulatory group has advised a range of organisations on the ACCC's authorisation and notification procedures. Recent experience includes:

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

Shell / Chevron / ExxonMobil
Obtaining an eight‑year ACCC exemption for the A$40 billion Gorgon gas project to engage in joint marketing of gas to domestic customers.

Sanofi
Obtaining ACCC clearance for the restructure of the Sanofi/BMS cardiovascular joint venture and acquisition of AVAPRO and ISCOVER brands.

Community Care Underwriting Agency
Authorisation for a joint venture between QBE, NRMA and Allianz that provides public liability insurance to not-for-profit organisations.

Medicines Australia
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.

Access

Our Competition, Consumer & Regulatory group provide regulated access advice in a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, airports, electricity, gas, water, government, ports, railways, telecommunications and media. The National Access Team sees our competition experts working alongside a range of industry specialists. We regularly advise on third‑party access to infrastructure, economic regulation, and price monitoring. Please see our regulated access page for information about our experience.

Immunity applications

Our Competition, Consumer & Regulatory 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') to provide incentives for those engaged in cartel behaviour to self-report. Our experience includes:

Amcor
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.

Immunity Policy
Advising a number of clients on confidential applications under the Immunity Policy.

Marketing and advertising

Our Competition, Consumer & Regulatory group advises clients on a range of competition law issues associated with marketing and advertising. Recent experience includes:

Telecommunications carriers
Advising 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 regime.

Gillette
Advising on a range of advertising clearance issues, as well as acting 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.

Foxtel
Acting in Federal Court proceedings brought by Foxtel against the Australian Video Retailers Association for misleading and deceptive conduct in an advertising campaign.

Compliance programs

Our Competition, Consumer & Regulatory 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 online training guide on trade practices and fair trading issues that can be tailored to our clients' businesses.

We have developed and conducted programs on trade practices compliance for numerous Australian and international clients.