An appeal concerning a travel agent which, between August 2005 and May 2009, tried to persuade three airlines whose tickets it sold, under contractual arrangements with them, not to undercut it in their direct sales. The ACCC alleged that the agent was a competitor of the airlines in relevant markets and had contravened s 45 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth), as it stood during the relevant time, by proposing an arrangement or understanding with a view to maintaining or controlling the price of air tickets supplied to consumers. The answer to the question whether the agent contravened the Act turned critically upon whether or not the agent was, in any relevant sense, in competition with the three airlines, which were its principals at the time it made the proposals.
Michael Hodge (led by J T Gleeson SC, Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth) were instructed by the Australian Government Solicitor.
The High Court judgment is published here. See also: Flight Centre Ltd v ACCC (2015) 234 FCR 367;  FCAFC 104; ACCC v Flight Centre Ltd (No 2) (2013) 307 ALR 209;  FCA 1313.