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Regulator to Target Online "Drip Pricing"

26 Feb 2014
Written by World Watch

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released its latest Compliance and enforcement policy (February 2014), which "outlines the ACCC's priority areas for the year and sets out the factors to be taken into account when deciding whether to pursue matters".

Published in Consumer Protection

United States-based bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (Lehman) is to pay US$767 million to the US Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) to settle a US$1.2 billion claim over two loans issued by Freddie Mac to Lehman a matter of months before Lehman filed for bankruptcy.

Published in Consumer Protection

The Supreme Court of the Australian state of Victoria has handed down its decision in Telstra Corporation Ltd v Singtel Optus Pty Ltd [2014] VSC 35 (18 February 2014). According to The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), the Court has ruled that an advertising campaign by telecommunications provider SingTel Optus Pty Ltd (Optus) breached Schedule 2 (The Australian Consumer Law) to the Competition and Consumer Act (2010) 1974 No. 51 (Cth) by misleading consumers into believing that Optus's mobile network covering 98.5% of Australia referred to geographical cover when in fact it referred to population.

Published in Consumer Protection

The European Commission (EC) has released EC Memo/14/113 (14 February 2014) which sets out the "actions announced and delivered" in the EC's jurisdiction in response to the so-called horsemeat scandal that began to unfold in early 2013.

Published in Consumer Protection

The United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority has announced that the High Court has ruled that "two investment schemes, promoted by Capital Alternatives and a number of other firms, were [unauthorised] collective investment schemes". According to the FCA, the defendants "structured their schemes to try to avoid the need to be regulated by the FCA"; however, the High Court has "agreed with the FCA that the schemes ... could not be lawfully operated by the defendants".

Published in Consumer Protection

Italy's competition regulator Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) has announced that it has fined the following low-cost airlines a total of more than €1 million for "misleading practices" in their offering of travel insurance policies to online consumers:

Published in Consumer Protection

United Kingdom (UK)-based bank Barclays has advised (9 February 2014) that it has notified regulators including the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) of a consumer data breach that "appears to be criminal action". According to Daily Mail, the files on at least 2,000 Barclays customers have been leaked, as evidenced by portable data storage device handed to the Daily Mail's offices by an anonymous informant.

LThe Senate of the US state of California has approved Senate Bill No. 383 - Credit cards: personal information (amended 28 January 2014) to protect consumers' personal information.

Bank's Late Payment Fees Found to be Excessive

05 Feb 2014
Written by World Watch

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has made available the Federal Court of Australia's (FCA) judgment in Paciocco v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited [2014] FCA 35 (5 February 2014). According to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, which represented 43,500 individuals in the class action against Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ), the Court has determined that "late payment fees charged by [ANZ] were penalties, and thousands of customers should receive compensation for amounts that had been unfairly charged".

Published in Consumer Protection

The United Kingdom (UK) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has made available a Final Notice (30 January 2014) setting out its decision to fine State Street Bank Europe Ltd and State Street Global Markets International Ltd (jointly, State Street UK) approximately £22.9 million for breaching Principles 3 (Management and control), 6 (Customers' interests) and 7 (Communications with clients) of the FCA's Principles for Business (January 2014).

Published in Consumer Protection

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