ANZ cleared of price fixing

Court dismisses ACCC's allegation that bank breached consumer law.

Allegations that Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) breached price fixing provisions in consumer law have been dismissed by the Federal Court, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says in a statement.

The ACCC brought proceedings about ANZ's actions in 2004 requiring Mortgage Refunds Pty Ltd to agree to limit the amount of refund it could give customers on arranging ANZ home loans.

The ACCC alleged ANZ engaged in price fixing by making an agreement that it would only allow Mortgage Refunds to offer ANZ mortgage products if it limited any refunds paid to its customers to $600, which would allow ANZ branches to match the deal if they waived their loan establishment fee.

The court said ANZ did not participate in a market for the provision of loan arrangement services, meaning ANZ and Mortgage Refunds were not competitors and ANZ's conduct did not constitute price fixing.

The ACCC said it will give the judgement careful consideration.

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