The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced it will investigate whether major corporate services firms have breached consumer protection laws by using unfair and deceptive pricing practices.
Key points:ACCC will investigate the pricing practices of a number of major corporations, including IBM, Adobe, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Cisco, and OracleThe Australian Competition Commission has set up a panel of independent experts to investigate unfair and misleading pricing practicesA panel of experts will investigate what constitutes unfair and fraudulent practices in the Australian marketThe regulator will also look at whether major corporations are using ‘unreasonable’ pricing and other forms of unfair business practices.
“In the absence of a clear policy, consumers and the Australian public have a right to expect that a significant percentage of the products and services that they buy are of a high quality,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“Companies are responsible for ensuring that their prices are fair and reasonable and that consumers are assured that the prices they pay are in line with the price they receive.”
In its notice, the ACCC has said it will seek evidence from major corporations including IBM and Adobe, and has set aside four days for submissions.
“We have already received several submissions from customers and are reviewing them closely,” ACCCC chief executive Stephen Rees said.
“The ACCC will use its powers under the Competition and Markets Act to investigate whether the conduct alleged is unfair or deceptive under the Australian Consumer Law.”
“If the ACCAC concludes that these conduct is unfair, deceptive or not in compliance with the Act, it will consider whether to take appropriate enforcement action.”
It’s a key step for consumers, who have been frustrated by the fact they are paying a premium for certain services, including medical testing, while receiving a much lower rate for the same service.
“It is vital that consumers have access to the most up-to-date information about how their healthcare services are delivered and at what price,” ACCAC CEO Stephen Reas said.
Mr Sims said the ACCCP would look at all types of pricing practices in order to “help ensure that consumers receive the best value for their money”.
“The information we collect will enable us to develop a policy and guidance that provides better value for money for consumers,” he said.