The ACCC alleged that the state-owned corporation TasPorts breached section 46(1) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), by various conduct that it said was directed at the entry of Engage Marine into the towage and pilotage markets in northern Tasmania. All but one of the alleged contraventions were dismissed by consent. TasPorts admitted one contravention arising from its conduct of seeking to impose a Marine Precinct Tonnage Charge on Grange Resources after Grange Resources began acquiring towage and pilotage services from Engage. TasPorts had been the previous provider of services to Grange and had not sought to impose the charge whilst it was the provider.
This was the first case applying the new version of section 46(1) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).
Michael Hodge QC (with Caryn Van Proctor and Daniel Preston) acted for TasPorts, instructed by Arnold Bloch Leibler.
The judgment is published here.
Michael has authored ‘Declaratory Relief Concerning Misuse of Market Power Confirmed as Appropriate in Interest of Justice‘ which summarises the case background and implications of the judgment, with particular focus on the declaratory relief granted and public interest.