The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court, Melbourne against Visy Industries Holdings Pty Ltd, Visy Industries Australia Pty Ltd and Visy Board Pty Ltd.
Proceedings have also been taken against Mr Richard Pratt, Chairman of the Visy Group; Mr Harry Debney, the Chief Executive Officer of the Visy Group; and Mr Rod Carroll, the former General Manager of Visy Board; for allegedly being knowingly concerned in or party to the contravening conduct by the Visy respondents.
The ACCC alleges that the above respondents engaged in conduct in the corrugated fibreboard container industry that was anti-competitive, including engaging in price-fixing and market sharing, in contravention of section 45 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
The ACCC alleges that between 2000 and late 2004 the Visy respondents entered into and gave effect to anti-competitive arrangements with its principal competitor Amcor Ltd in the supply, throughout Australia, of corrugated fibreboard containers.
The ACCC is seeking the following court orders:
- declarations that the conduct contravened section 45 of the Act
- injunctions restraining similar conduct in the future
- pecuniary penalties against each of the respondents
- trade practices training or compliance programs by the respondents, and
Amcor Ltd and its former senior executives have to date received immunity from legal proceedings by the ACCC after the company came forward with information about the alleged conduct. The immunity was granted under the ACCC's 2003 Leniency Policy and is conditional upon continuing full cooperation from the company and executives in providing information to the ACCC about the alleged cartel.
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