find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
ACCC has track record to take on Visa

ACCC has track record to take on Visa

The odds are in the Australian competition watchdog’s favour to win either the abuse of power or exclusive dealing case against Visa, a competition expert has claimed.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) lodged an abuse of market power suit against Visa in the Federal Court last week (4 February). The claim alleges that Visa attempted to prevent the expansion of dynamic currency conversion (DCC) services by banning their use at ATMs that accept Visa cards. In addition, the regulator has claimed Visa engaged in exclusive dealing by giving Australian banks access to its payment network on the condition that they didn’t acquire rival DCC services.

Visa has a tough legal battle ahead, according to Sharon Henrick (pictured), head of King & Wood Mallesons’ competition law and regulatory group.

“The ACCC has brought cases involving both provisions of Australia’s competition law regime and succeeded,” she told Lawyers Weekly. “[The regulator] has a track record of success in these types of cases.”

Henrick points to the Full Federal Court decision in the Baxter Healthcare case in 2008, which found the medical products company took advantage of its market power when it entered long-term contracts with state health-purchasing authorities.

In a similar case, Universal Music was initially found to have  breached abuse of power provisions under Section 46 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (now the Consumer and Competition Act 2010) when it threatened to withdraw trading benefits from retailers who stocked parallel imported CDs. Even though the decision was later overturned by the Full Federal Court, the exclusive dealing charge was upheld.

The courts have, at times, struggled to determine a breach of Section 46 of the Act. A recent contested case involving Cement Australia is still awaiting decision, despite its completion 20 months ago and 12 weeks of debate.

Even if the ACCC can’t prove Visa abused market power, Henrick believes it is very likely Visa will be reprimanded for exclusive dealing, as long as the watchdog can back its claims.

“It is possible that the ACCC will prove one and not the other [charge],” she said. “It’s the kind of case that could go all the way to the High Court.”

Henrick added that in the case of an ACCC win, a class action for civil damages brought by aggrieved Australian consumers and businesses could follow.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

ACCC has track record to take on Visa
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...