Federal Court decisions affect distribution arrangements between principals and agents

By Justin Oliver

Two recent judgments of the Federal Court have highlighted the potential for Australian competition law to affect distribution arrangements between principals and their agents. Most recently, the ACCC’s case against Flight Centre means that such arrangements may need to be reviewed to ensure they do not fall foul of the prohibitions on price fixing under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

ACCC v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group was concerned with arrangements under which the ANZ Bank offered home loans through a series of distribution channels, including ‘Mortgage Refunds’, an independent mortgage broker that offered customers access to a range of home loan products.

The ACCC alleged that ANZ entered into an agreement to limit the size of refunds that Mortgage Refunds could offer to customers who took out an ANZ home loan through the broker…

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