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Australia’s ACCC Seeks Massive Fine for Qantas Violations

 |  April 14, 2024

Australia’s competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has intensified its legal action against Qantas Airways, announcing plans to seek a hefty fine of “hundreds of millions” of dollars. This move comes a day after the ACCC initiated legal proceedings against the carrier, accusing it of selling tickets to over 8,000 flights despite their cancellation.

In court filings on Thursday, the ACCC alleged that between May and July 2022 Qantas violated consumer law by failing to disclose the cancellation status of thousands of flights. Qantas, in response, stated it would carefully review the allegations and provide a formal response in court. The airline emphasized that the period in question coincided with unprecedented challenges faced by the entire airline industry due to the global pandemic.

Read more: The ACCC’s Ongoing Digital Platforms Services Inquiry: Regulatory Reform

The ACCC’s Chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, reiterated the severity of the alleged misconduct, emphasizing that the proposed penalty is not merely a cost of doing business but aims to deter similar conduct in the future. Under Australian consumer laws, Qantas could face a maximum penalty of up to 10% of its annual turnover, which stood at A$19.8 billion in the fiscal year ending June.

Qantas shares experienced a notable decline, dropping nearly 2% to A$5.83 in afternoon trading on Friday. This followed a previous day’s dip of 3.81%, marking the lowest share price since November 22.

Cass-Gottlieb highlighted the intention to surpass the previous record penalty imposed on automaker Volkswagen in 2019, which amounted to A$125 million ($81 million) for breaching Australian consumer laws.

Source: CA Movies Yahoo