Discussion of Competition and Consumer Protection Law issues
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Dodging a bullet!
Franchisee rights denied in Husqvarna code breach I
was a bit puzzled by the ACCC's settlement against Husqvarna Australia (which
is part of the Swedish Husqvarna Group with annual revenues of $6 billion).
Australian subsidiary has been claiming for well over 10 years that its
agreements with 343 dealers are not franchise agreements, when that has not
been the case. Furthermore, Husqvarna has terminated dealers without complying
with the Franchising Code of Conduct (Code).
also has not reviewed its "franchise" agreements to identify
potentially unfair contract terms, despite the law changing two years ago.
the company didn't even have a compliance program in place.
all of this conduct, the ACCC decided not take any legal action against
Husqvarna but rather to settle this raft of contraventions with a s87B
the other hand, the ACCC takes legal action against much smaller franchisors,
with little brand recognition, that have been engaging in relatively minor
contraventions of the Code for very short periods of time.
inconsistency in terms of the ACCC's enforcement approaches makes our job as
lawyers particularly difficult. How do I explained the Husqvarna settlement to
the next small business client who gets taken to court by the ACCC?