Tertiary education program

Criminal penalties

A breach of the cartel provisions can also give rise to criminal liabilities. The CCA specifies which provisions are civil and which are criminal. If the ACCC refers a criminal matter to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), the CDPP may take legal action against a firm that is alleged to have contravened a cartel offence provision. The CDPP must prove the contravention beyond reasonable doubt. This is a higher standard of proof than the standard of proof for a civil contravention.

A business that breaches a criminal cartel provision may be ordered to pay a criminal fine. The maximum fine is the same as the maximum civil pecuniary penalty outlined above.

Individuals found by a court to have been involved in a breach of a cartel offence provision can lead to criminal charges and the imposition of a fine up to 2000 penalty units (currently $340 000) per criminal cartel offence and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.