Harvey Norman dropped legal proceedings against the ACCC last week after the competition watchdog launched an investigation into the retailer's advertising of Quicken software in the lead up to the introduction of the GST.
The ACCC began investigating Harvey Norman after consumer complaints surfaced over the non-availability of Quicken's accounting software, Quickbooks, advertised in the retailer's catalogue. The Commission alleged Harvey Norman's catalogue advertising breached the bait advertising and false, misleading or deceptive conduct provisions of the Trade Practices Act, 1974.
Harvey Norman hit back with Federal Court proceedings against the ACCC claiming there was a risk the ACCC could make unauthorised use of confidential information concerning the operations of Harvey Norman.
"The ACCC considered this claim to be fanciful," ACCC chairman Allen Fels said in a statement.
The Court's decision to accept Harvey Norman's application to drop legal proceedings will not stop the ACCC from continuing its investigation.
"The fact that a prominent business is conducting public attacks on the ACCC is no reason for the ACCC to abandon a legitimate investigation of matters arising under the Act," Fels said.