In November 2012, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) applied for injunctions against 11 Harvey Norman franchisees after it found they were misleading customers about their rights to claim a refund or replace faulty products. The franchisees faced fines of up to $1.1 million.

Justice Richard Edmonds of the New South Wales Federal Court removed 10 of the franchisees from the proceedings because the injunctions were filed in NSW and those stores operate in other states.

The only remaining injunction is against the Sydney franchisee.

Justice Edmonds stated that the without agreement, any proceeding of that kind, by a regulator such as the ACCC, should be brought in the state in which the respondent is trading.

Accordingly, the ACCC is left with two options:

  • the ACCC could apply to have the remaining 10 franchisees considered as parties to the proceeding in NSW; or
  • the ACCC could issue 11 separate proceedings.

 

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