The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (previously know as the Trade Practices Act 1974) is administered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The Act provides protection for small businesses and consumers and prevents some restrictive trade practices including:
- Market activities that manipulate supply or demand
- Price fixing
- Market sharing deals
- Misleading or deceptive conduct
- False representation
- Bait advertising – eg advertising exceptional deals that do not exist
- Accepting payment without intending to supply
- Pyramid selling – eg exchange of money to enrol others in a scheme with no actual delivery of product.
The Act deals with issues such as the relationships among suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, competitors and customers. It covers anti-competitive conduct, unfair market practices, industry codes, mergers and acquisitions of companies, product safety, product labelling and price monitoring.