Thought Leadership

2020 In Review: Australian Competition & Consumer Commission

By Shaun Temby, Christopher Marsh

• 12 February 2021 • 5 min read
2020 In Review: ACCC

What a year it's been...

In the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Year in Review publication, we take a look at the ACCC’s leading cases and activities in 2020 and consider how well the ACCC performed against its 2020 enforcement and other ongoing priorities.

This past year was extraordinary for all of us and the ACCC was equally impacted. The speed with which the ACCC pivoted to address the impact of COVID-19 on consumers and businesses was truly commendable. In this review, you will find a COVID-19 section, discussing the various ways the ACCC was required to address the impact of COVID-19 on the economy – examining its response to specific COVID-19 related consumer issues (most notably in the travel and hospitality industries). We will also review the range of authorisations it granted to permit cooperation between competitors to facilitate appropriate responses to the health and economic emergency.

We have retained our expanded focus from last year and will again examine the ACCC’s regulatory, administrative and policy activities beyond pure litigation, looking at the areas of:

  • energy
  • healthcare
  • retail and franchising
  • technology, digital platforms and telecommunications.

We also cover in detail enforcement activity and developments in the following areas:

  • cartels
  • misuse of market power
  • consumer protection (including scams)
  • unfair contract terms
  • product safety.

In this edition you'll find a separate section on ‘Scams’ given their increasing impact on businesses, as well as everyday Australians.

We have also produced a short season of podcasts featuring our senior lawyers discussing the impact of ACCC's work on certain sectors of the Australian economy. Links to these podcasts are further down this page.

Download your copy of the review

Watchdog: A podcast series on the work of the ACCC

Maddocks on the Mic podcast series, Watchdog, takes a look at the ACCC’s leading cases and activities in 2020, as well discuss our 2021 predications for franchising and unfair contracts, technology, digital platforms and telecommunications and finally, COVID-19 and the Australian healthcare sector.

Listen to our Watchdog series below.

E1: Franchising and unfair contracts

In this episode, listeners will hear from partners Shaun Temby, Greg Hipwell and consultant Fiona Wallwork, as they discuss the year in review for the consumer markets & franchising sector. Listeners will hear from these experts about some of the ACCC's leading cases in 2020 and their predictions for the sector in 2021.
E2: Digital, telecommunications and consumer data

In this episode, Shaun speaks with partner Sonia Sharma and special counsel Elise Ball as they discuss digital telecommunications & consumer data. Listeners will hear from both experts about some of the ACCC's leading cases in 2020 and predictions for 2021.
E3: COVID-19 and the Australian healthcare sector

In this episode, Shaun speaks with partners Aaron Kloczko and Rob Gregory as they discuss COVID-19 and the healthcare sector. Listeners will hear from both experts about some of the ACCC's leading cases in 2020, the impacts of COVID-19 on the sector and their predictions for 2021.




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