Contributing Lawyers

Canada

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross

Australia

Andrew Hudson



Competition authorities succeed in actions to gather evidence against SQ and Emirates

As you are all aware, competition authorities around the world have been taking action against alleged price fixing on air cargo services.

 

 

Many airlines here (including QF and BA) have settled, but some (including SQ and Emirates) are defending the action.

 

 

One element of the action has been efforts by SQ and Emirates in the Federal Court to set aside notices served by the ACCC under Section 155 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 seeking documents and information on the alleged price fixing.  These notices are often used by the ACCC to require the production of relevant information and documents.  The notices are often drawn very broadly and compliance with the notices is often time consuming and costly, with the associated concern that failure to comply with the notice can, itself, lead to sanction by the ACCC.  In this instance, the airlines sought to challenge the ability of the ACCC to serve the notice on the basis that the alleged actions the subject of the notices took place outside of Australia where the ACCC had no jurisdiction.

 

 

A single judge of the Federal Court has, however, very recently (2 April 2009) upheld the action of the ACCC and the legality of the notices issued against SQ and Emirates.  While that may be the subject of a challenge to the full Federal Court the issue and the judgment may be of interest

 

 

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