find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
ACCC issues cartel conduct warning

ACCC issues cartel conduct warning

Lawyers have been warned that the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) will pursue criminal charges over civil penalties for serious cartel conduct At the Competition Law…

Lawyers have been warned that the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) will pursue criminal charges over civil penalties for serious cartel conduct

At the Competition Law Conference last week, Marcus Bezzi, the executive general manager of the enforcement and compliance division at the ACCC, said that serious cartel conduct would involve the potential to cause large -scale or serious economic harm and it would be in the public interest to pursue a criminal remedy.

"For the legal representatives of people who are being investigated, this means there will be no point trying to negotiate resolution of a serious cartel matter in the way that may have been done when civil proceedings were the only available option," he said.

"We will never allow the prospect of a criminal prosecution to be traded away by an attractive offer to resolve the matter through civil penalty proceedings and the payment of a large penalty."

Bezzi said the ACCC had been vocal in supporting the criminalisation of cartel conduct because of its value as a deterrent.

"Whereas pecuniary penalties, no matter how large, may be regarded by some as merely a business cost, the risk of imprisonment alters the equation completely. No price can be given to the loss of one's liberty and a conviction is a permanent stain on anyone's resume," he said.

The Trade Practices Amendment (Cartel Conduct and Other Measures) Bill 2008 criminalises cartel conduct including price-fixing, restricting outputs in production or supply chain, allocating customers, suppliers or territories and bid-rigging. Individuals can face up to ten years imprisonment for breaches of the offences.

When considering criminal sanctions, the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth will be consulted.This sets out factors including the impact of the cartel on the market, the scale of the detriment caused to consumers and whether members have previously been involved in criminal or civil breaches of cartel behaviour.

Bezzi emphasised that it was wise to get legal advice on agreements, arrangements or understanding involving competitors. "Because imprisonment could be the consequence of bad advice it is very important that any legal advice is correct," he said.

- Sarah Sharples

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

ACCC issues cartel conduct warning
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Human body, illegal organ trafficking, ALHR
Sep 22 2017
Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR
The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights are calling for changes to the law so that organ trafficking...
Online service, barristers, BarristerSELECT, Stephen Foley
Sep 22 2017
New online service leverages barristers’ clerks to aid briefing
A new online tool has been launched to help NSW solicitors find the most suitable barristers for the...
NSW District Court judge, Tim Gartelmann SC, next appointment,
Sep 22 2017
Silk replaces outgoing NSW District Court judge
A barrister has been named as the next appointment to the NSW District Court, following the retireme...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...