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NCJ Number: 51778 Find in a Library
Title: CONSUMER PROTECTION - THE 1974 ACT (FROM CRIME LAW AND BUSINESS - THE SOCIOLOGICAL SOURCES OF AUSTRALIAN MONOPOLY LAW, 1978, BY ANDREW HOPKINS)
Author(s): A HOPKINS
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Australia
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: TRADE PRACTICE LEGISLATION ENACTED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN AUSTRALIA, WITH THE ELECTION OF THE LABOR PARTY IN 1972, THAT EMBODIED THE CONCEPT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION IS DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE 1974 LEGISLATION WAS INTENDED TO PROTECT THE CONSUMER AGAINST UNDESIRABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES. COMMITMENT TO CONSUMER PROTECTION WAS REFLECTED IN VARIOUS WAYS. RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICES PREVIOUSLY UNLAWFUL UNTIL DECLARED OTHERWISE BY THE TRADE PRACTICES TRIBUNAL WERE AUTOMATICALLY UNLAWFUL. THE TRADE PRACTICES COMMISSION HAD THE POWER TO AUTHORIZE CERTAIN RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICES IN PARTICULAR CASES IF IT FELT THEM TO BE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST, BUT NO SUCH EXEMPTIONS WERE POSSIBLE IN PRICE FIXING AGREEMENTS FOR GOODS, DISCRIMINATORY DEALINGS, RESALE PRICE MAINTENANCE (RPM), OR MONOPOLIZATION. THE 1974 LEGISLATION PROVIDED FOR AN AUTOMATIC PECUNIARY PENALTY OF UP TO $25,000 FOR ANY COMPANY AND $50,000 FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL ENGAGING IN A PROHIBITED PRACTICE. CERTAIN PROVISIONS IN THE ACT REQUIRED SUPPLIERS TO PROVIDE WARRANTIES IN RELATION TO ALL GOODS AND SERVICES THEY SOLD. OTHER PROVISIONS SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED A NUMBER OF UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES, SUCH AS MISLEADING ADVERTISING, PYRAMID SELLING, UNDUE HARASSMENT BY DOOR-TO-DOOR SALESMEN, AND FAILURE BY MANUFACTURERS TO COMPLY WITH PRESCRIBED CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY STANDARDS. CONFLICT ENSUED BETWEEN THE INTERESTS OF LABOR, BUSINESS, AND CONSUMERS. ALTHOUGH THE 1974 ACT WAS INTENDED TO SERVE CONSUMER INTERESTS, CONSUMER ORGANIZATIONS PLAYED A MINIMAL ROLE IN ITS FORMULATION. AMENDMENTS ENACTED IN 1977 REPRESENTED A SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE TO THE 1974 ACT. CONSUMER PROTECTION PROVISIONS WERE STRENGTHENED IN THESE AMENDMENTS BUT THE PROHIBITION ON PRICE FIXING REMAINED ESSENTIALLY UNCHANGED. THE AMENDMENTS DID REPRESENT A SIGNIFICANT WITHDRAWAL FROM THE FIELD OF MERGER CONTROL. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Australia; Consumer protection; Laws and Statutes; Price control; Retail business crimes
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51778

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