Competing fairly

Kleenheat pays $25,200 penalties over gas discount claims in WA

Wesfarmers Kleenheat Gas Pty Ltd (Kleenheat) has paid penalties totalling $25,200 after the ACCC issued two infringement notices for alleged false and misleading representations made about gas prices.

From 29 April 2018, Kleenheat advertised that new customers in Western Australia could “Save 35% on gas charges” by switching to its Monthly Energiser Plan.

The ACCC alleged that this representation was false and misleading because the discount only applied to a customer’s gas usage charges (but not to other charges, like the gas supply charge or account fee).

Preliminary report

In December 2018, the ACCC released its preliminary report for the inquiry, following the report being provided to the Treasurer. Submissions in response to the preliminary report will close on 15 February 2019.

Industry associations

Industry associations play an important role in providing a collective voice for individual businesses within an industry. However, associations and their members (regardless of size) must be mindful of their obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act).

Companies behaving badly?

ACCC Chair Rod Sims delivered the Giblin Lecture in Tasmania today, and shared his observations on company behaviour that drives breaches of Australia’s competition and consumer laws.

“Few companies behave badly often, but rather many engage in occasional significant instances of bad behaviour, which remains unacceptable.”

“It is often said that companies succeed by looking after the needs of their customers. I have been surprised over very many years, however, at the way in which many businesses often do precisely the opposite.”

Commercial construction unit

The ACCC is currently prioritising anti-competitive conduct in commercial construction markets and has established a Commercial Construction Unit (CCU) focussed on the construction sector.