ACCC takes on US-based StoresOnline

Australia’s competition regulator is commencing action against a US company selling online retail software packages.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has commenced legal proceedings against StoresOnline International Inc and StoresOnline Inc in a bid to stop the company making business presentations until the Federal Court provides judgement on a substantive case involving alleged breaches of the Trade Practices Act.

The ACCC initiated court action against StoresOnline in June 2005 over allegations that the US- -based company had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in the promotion and sale of its home business e-commerce software packages.

StoresOnline provided the ACCC with an undertaking under section 87B of the Trade Practices Act 1974 in April 2006 that it would not continue to promote its home business e-commerce software packages, which had been the subject of complaints from purchasers.

The ACCC said that contrary to the undertakings, StoresOnline had returned to Australia to run further presentations from early October 2006 and has planned more presentations next week.

The ACCC claims that the presentations contravene the Trade Practices Act and at a hearing listed for today, in the Federal Court in Sydney, it is seeking an interlocutory injunction restraining StoresOnline from conducting further presentations to sell and promote their home business e-commerce software packages until the proceeding has been determined on a final basis.

Justice Taberlin in the Federal Court will also be asked to make orders that an order that StoresOnline pay to the Commonwealth an amount up to the amount of any financial benefit which it has obtained, directly or indirectly from product sales which is attributable to the alleged breaches of the s.87B undertaking given in April 2006.

The ACCC is also seeking an order directing StoresOnline to compensate any other person who has suffered loss or damage as a result of the breach of the s.87B undertaking and declarations that StoresOnline has contravened s87B of the Act.

Inside Retail

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