The applicant, the ACCC, alleged that in November and December 2014, the respondent, Woolworths Limited, engaged, in trade or commerce, in conduct in connection with the acquisition or possible acquisition of goods from its suppliers that was, in all the circumstances, unconscionable, within the meaning of s 21(1) of the Australian Consumer Law (the ACL) (Sch 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).
The ACCC sought declaratory and injunctive relief, pecuniary penalties, and costs against Woolworths. On 3 November 2016, an order was made that the question of the ACCC’s entitlement to injunctive relief, pecuniary penalties and other orders as sought in the originating application be determined separately from and after all other questions in the proceeding. Therefore, this part of the proceeding concerned the question of whether Woolworths did engage in conduct that was unconscionable, in contravention of s 21(1) of the ACL.
Michael Hodge (led by N J O’Bryan SC) appeared for the Applicant, instructed by the Australian Government Solicitor.
The judgment is published here.