find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Lawyers warned cartels on watchdog’s hit list

Lawyers warned cartels on watchdog’s hit list

ACCC chairman Rod Sims has warned in-house counsel and commercial lawyers in private practice that cartel prosecution is among the regulator’s top enforcement priorities.

Sims (pictured) told attendees of the International Bar Association’s (IBA) ninth Competition Mid-Year Conference held in Sydney last week (21-22 March) that the ACCC is currently conducting more than 10 in-depth cartel investigations. He also nominated anti-competitive agreements and misuse of market power as two other focus areas of the competition watchdog.

“There are some forms of conduct that are so detrimental to consumer welfare and the competitive process that we will always assess them as a priority,” he said.

While Sims admitted that court actions taken by the ACCC have generally targeted alleged cartel activity across international borders, he warned that some of the current investigations are confined to local conduct. He pointed to the ACCC’s cartel immunity policy, which offers immunity to the first to disclose and cooperate, as the lead source of information for cartel investigations, attracting more than 100 approaches since its introduction in 2005.

Ashurst recently warned clients about the watchdog’s plans to ramp up cartel enforcement. The firm said the ACCC is not just targeting international price fixing cartels by major corporations, but is also pursuing “smaller” localised cartels.

Sims’ speech also cast a spotlight on proceedings against airlines, revealing that to date, 13 airlines have been ordered by the Federal Court to pay a total of $98.5 million in penalties for cartel activity. The ACCC’s most recent proceeding in the Federal Court was instituted against Yazaki Corporation, a Japanese company, and its Australian subsidiary, Australian Arrow Pty Ltd.

In 2010, Melbourne University Law School found that 58 per cent of businesses did not know that fixing prices, rigging bids, sharing markets and restricting supply is a criminal offence that can result in 10-year jail sentences for individuals; and of the 42 per cent of businesses that understood the potential criminal nature of cartel conduct, almost one in 10 said they would still be likely to join a cartel if the opportunity arose.

The IBA conference also included a regulators roundtable; and presentations entitled Merger control – is convergence still on top of the agenda?, and New challenges in the coordination of multi-jurisdictional cartels.

A number of Australia-based lawyers were involved as either moderators or speakers over the two-day event.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Lawyers warned cartels on watchdog’s hit list
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Oct 23 2017
Lawyers slam rushed consultation for SA repeat offenders bill
The Law Society of South Australia has expressed concern for a proposal to roll out new laws amendin...
Oct 23 2017
The pursuit of happiness in the law
A panel of legal experts have explored how to define success in the legal profession, and how lawyer...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...