The ACCC invites tertiary students to study their rights and obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, which includes the Australian Consumer Law. Students can study all 12 modules below or select the ones that are most relevant to their future careers. Most modules take about 15-20 minutes to complete and contain a short self-assessment quiz.
Educators can incorporate the free online modules into their teaching materials and can also subscribe to receive additional teaching resources. All of the 12 modules below have a corresponding Instructor's Manual, which contains a PowerPoint presentation and additional quiz and discussion questions and answers that can be taught in class.
Hi, I'm Dr Michael Schaper, Deputy Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
It's a pleasure to introduce this education program for tertiary students.
If you are enrolled in management, business law, marketing, economics or any other commerce-related course, then this program is designed for you.
It aims to inform you about Australia's competition and consumer laws, and some of the issues that you're likely to face in your business career.
The program consists of 12 modules.
Each one outlines a key part of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, which includes the Australian Consumer Law. This is the legal framework which covers much of the day-to-day dealings from one business to another, and between firms and their customers and between firms and their competitors.
The modules cover two major themes - one set deals with our competition laws, and the other with the Australian Consumer Law. You can do any module on its own, or as part of a wider collection of topics. There's an introductory module on competition regulation, and another on consumer law, which will give you some useful background before you dive into the other topics.
As you'll see, we've explained the law and we've tried to show you how it works at a practical level.
As you go along you'll find examples, case references and suggested further reading.
To test your understanding each module includes a short quiz, as well as discussion topics.
If you are a lecturer or a tutor - this program will also be useful to you.
You'll also receive an instruction manual, containing the answers to each set of quiz questions and to the discussion topics.
This online program provides you with information that is both educational and practical.
We think you'll be able to relate to the content both as consumers and as future business managers, directors or entrepreneurs.
We hope you find the program to be a useful and worthwhile resource.
Good luck with the quiz and I hope you find the discussion topics thought provoking!
Module 1 provides you with the basic elements and operations of competition law in Australia. It explains why strong, competitive markets are important to businesses and consumers. It also describes how the law is enforced and the penalties that can be imposed upon a business or individual if they do not comply with the law. This is an overview module, which does not contain quiz questions.
Module 2 explains the concept of a cartel, lists the types of cartel behavior, explains why cartels are illegal and the penalties and remedies that guilty parties may face if caught participating in cartel conduct. This module also shows how businesses can seek an exemption from the cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 under certain circumstances.
Module 3 explains what market power is and describes the different forms of conduct that may amount to "taking advantage" of market power. It also discusses the circumstances in which taking advantage of market power will breach the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
Module 4 teaches you about the five types of prohibited conduct relating to setting minimum prices for resale, explains the agency agreement exception to the prohibition and outlines the authorisation process.
Module 5 explains that exclusive dealing occurs when a business refuses to supply to or acquire from a business that has not agreed to a condition that the business has tried to impose. It describes the distinction between the different forms of exclusive dealing and how businesses can seek an exemption from the exclusive dealing provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 under certain circumstances.
Like many other countries, Australia has a comprehensive suite of consumer protection legislation. Consumer protection law is important for the efficient functioning of markets; it encourages consumers to shop with confidence, and enables businesses to compete fairly without rogue businesses being rewarded for using underhanded or misleading tactics. Module 6 provides an overview of the Australian Consumer Law. This is an overview module, which does not contain quiz questions.
Unfair selling and business practices contained within the Australian Consumer Law prohibit various behaviours, including bait advertising, participating in pyramid schemes, acting unconscionably or not adhering to certain rules when engaging in unsolicited sales or lay-by agreements. Module 8 teaches you about these unfair practices and the penalties associated with breaching the relevant provisions.
The Australian Consumer Law contains 12 guarantees that businesses must automatically provide consumers; 9 consumer guarantees relate to products and 3 relate to services. Module 9 teaches you about all 12 guarantees and the remedies available to consumers if businesses fail to provide these guarantees.
The Australian Consumer Law authorises the Commonwealth, state and territory ministers to regulate consumer goods and product-related services by issuing safety warning notices, banning products on a temporary or permanent basis or issuing a compulsory recall notice to suppliers. The Commonwealth minister can also impose mandatory safety or information standards. Module 10 explains how all suppliers in the supply chain must comply with these laws.
There are no specific laws or rules regulating content, tweets or posts on social media such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. However, Module 11 will teach you that the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits businesses from making false, misleading or deceptive claims, applies to social media in the same way that it applies to all other marketing and promotional activities.
Every year millions of dollars are lost to scammers. Technological innovation and expanding online and mobile communications are enabling scammers to develop more sophisticated operations. Module 12 teaches you about some of the most prevalent scams that currently affect consumers and businesses and teaches you how to not become a victim to this fraudulent behaviour.