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Price-fixing laws and advertising regulations
- Read about price gouging or profiteering during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Office of Fair Trading.
- Read the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) latest information on the rights and obligations of businesses in response to events caused by COVID-19.
When setting your prices and advertising your products and services, you must comply with the law.
Price fixing is an agreement – whether it is a casual conversation or a formal understanding – between competitors to set agreed prices for products and services. It is illegal under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The Act replaced the Trade Practices Act 1974 on 1 January 2011.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) administers the Act. Price fixing is a complex area and significant penalties apply, so ask your solicitor to explain your obligations under the Act. You must understand how the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 applies to your business.
It is illegal to mislead the public when you advertise products and services. You cannot rely on small print and disclaimers as an excuse for misleading or deceptive conduct.
If your advertising creates a misleading overall impression among its audience about (for example) the price, value or quality of products and services, it is likely to break the law. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) provides information on legal sales practices including pricing guidelines to ensure that your pricing is not misleading.
OFT has a range of enforcement options available when they consider a business to be breaking the law. You must understand your obligations and how you can avoid unfair business practices.
Learn more about advertising regulations.