The court found Flight Centre and the airlines competed in the relevant market which was for the sale of international airline tickets. Flight Centre was also an agent for each of the airlines.
“The ACCC welcomes the High Court’s decision today,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
“The ACCC pursued this matter because we were concerned that Flight Centre’s conduct in this case affected the competitive process. At the core of the matter is the question of whether Flight Centre and the airlines are legally considered competitors. The ACCC has always maintained that they are in competition with one another to sell flights to consumers.
Wednesday's decision follows one by the Federal Court in favour of the ACCC in December 2013, which Flight Centre successfully appealed in the Full Court of the Federal Court in July 2015. The ACCC then appealed to the High Court.
The matter will now return to the Full Federal Court for the determination of the penalty appeal and cross-appeal brought by the parties.