Pharmaceutical ingredient company pleads guilty to criminal cartel charges

Alkaloids of Australia Pty Ltd, a company which produces a pharmaceutical ingredient used in anti-spasmodic medication, has today pleaded guilty to criminal cartel conduct in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court.

Alkaloids of Australia pleaded guilty to three charges and admitted a further seven offences involving price fixing, bid rigging and market allocation cartel arrangements with other overseas pharmaceutical ingredient suppliers.

Warning on cartel conduct risk in public sector tenders

The ACCC is warning public sector agencies to be alert to the potential for collusion between bidders during procurement processes, following a recent ACCC investigation where departmental processes contemplated cooperation by competing businesses on government tenders.

Public sector procurement is a multi-billion-dollar sector which makes a vital contribution to the Australian economy and the welfare of Australian citizens and residents.

ACCC takes action against alleged roof tiling cartel participants

The ACCC has instituted civil proceedings in the Federal Court against two Sydney roof tiling businesses, First Class Slate Roofing (First Class) and RAD Roofing Specialists (trading as Mr Shingles), and their sole directors, Scott Barton of First Class, and Damian Hand of Mr Shingles, for alleged cartel conduct.

First Class and Mr Shingles are providers of slate roofing works in Sydney and its surrounds.

Criminal cartel charges against CFMMEU and Jason O’Mara withdrawn

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) has today withdrawn criminal cartel charges against the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) and its ACT Divisional Branch Secretary Mr Jason O’Mara.

The charges related to allegations that the CFMMEU and Mr O’Mara attempted to induce suppliers of scaffolding services to enter into cartel arrangements regarding prices for scaffolding services provided to builders in the ACT in 2012 to 2013.

Country Care, CEO and former employee acquitted of criminal cartel offences

A jury in the Federal Court today acquitted rehabilitation aids company The Country Care Group Pty Ltd, its CEO Robert Hogan and a former employee Cameron Harrison of eight criminal cartel offences.

The charges related to alleged attempted price-fixing and bid-rigging involving the supply of assistive technology products used in rehabilitation and aged care, such as walking frames, bathroom aids and other similar items to assist people with disabilities.

ACCC takes action over alleged attempted cartel for National Gallery of Australia tender

The ACCC has instituted civil proceedings in the Federal Court against Delta Building Automation Pty Ltd (Delta) and its sole director, Timothy Davis, for involvement in an alleged attempt to rig a bid in connection with a tender conducted by the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

The alleged attempted cartel conduct occurred in late 2019, and relates to a tender for the replacement and ongoing maintenance of a building management system at the National Gallery.

Garuda drops appeal, to pay $19m price fixing penalty in instalments

The Federal Court has approved a payment plan for airline PT Garuda Indonesia Ltd (Garuda) to pay a $19 million penalty the Court previously ordered relating to a long-running ACCC action against a global price fixing cartel in the air cargo industry.

In May 2019, the Federal Court ordered Garuda to pay the penalty for colluding with other global airlines on fees and surcharges for air freight services for a wide range of consumer goods between 2003 and 2006.

Shipping cartel fines now total $83.5 million after WWO conviction

Norwegian-based global shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean AS (WWO) has been convicted of criminal cartel conduct and ordered by the Federal Court to pay a fine of $24 million, in a case prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).

This brings to a close an extensive investigation by the ACCC into an international cartel involving several international shipping companies in relation to the shipping of vehicles to Australia from Asia, Europe and the US on behalf of major car manufacturers.

Ex BlueScope GM Jason Ellis convicted and sentenced for obstructing ACCC cartel investigation

Jason Ellis, a former general manager of sales and marketing at BlueScope Steel Limited (BlueScope), was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, for inciting the obstruction of an ACCC investigation into alleged price fixing by BlueScope.

Late yesterday, Magistrate Atkinson ordered that Mr Ellis be released, without entering custody, upon entering into a recognizance in the sum of $1,000, on the condition that he be of good behaviour for two years. Magistrate Atkinson also ordered that Mr Ellis pay a fine of $10,000.