Cartels

Aussie Skips and its chief executive charged with alleged waste services cartel offences

Waste companies Aussie Skips Recycling and Aussie Skips Bin Services (together Aussie Skips) have been charged with two criminal cartel offences relating to price fixing for demolition waste services in Sydney. Aussie Skips’ chief executive Emmanuel Roussakis has also been charged with one criminal cartel offence for his involvement in the alleged conduct.

Aussie Skips and Mr Roussakis were charged with these offences after an investigation by the ACCC and referral to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).

BlueScope and its former general manager Jason Ellis attempted to induce steel price fixing agreements

In civil cartel proceedings brought by the ACCC, the Federal Court has found that BlueScope Steel Limited and its former general manager of sales and marketing, Mr Jason Ellis, engaged in cartel conduct in relation to the supply of flat steel products in Australia.

The Court found that between September 2013 and June 2014, BlueScope and Mr Ellis attempted to induce eight steel distributors in Australia, and overseas manufacturer, Yieh Phui, to enter agreements to fix and/or raise the level of pricing for flat steel products supplied in Australia.

Oil and gas services company Qteq in court for alleged cartel conduct

The ACCC has today filed civil cartel proceedings in the Federal Court against mining equipment and technology services company Qteq Pty Ltd (Qteq) and its executive chairman, Simon Ashton.

It is alleged that on seven instances between 2017 and 2019, Qteq contacted competing businesses working in the supply of services to the oil and gas service industry, in attempts to induce them to enter into cartel arrangements with them.

Alkaloids of Australia and its former export manager sentenced in criminal price fixing cartel

The Federal Court has sentenced a family-owned Australian pharmaceutical company and its former export manager for engaging in criminal cartel conduct, following a criminal prosecution by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, that arose from an investigation by the ACCC.

Alkaloids of Australia, which produces scopolamine N-butylbromide (SNBB), the active pharmaceutical ingredient used in common anti-spasmodic medications, was convicted and fined $1,987,500.  

NQ Cranes to pay $1 million for cartel agreement with competitor

The Federal Court has ordered that overhead crane company NQ Cranes Pty Ltd pay a $1 million penalty after NQ Cranes admitted that it had entered into an anti-competitive cartel agreement with a competitor, in proceedings brought by the ACCC.

NQ Cranes admitted contravening the Competition and Consumer Act by entering into a cartel agreement with a competitor that had the purpose of allocating overhead crane service customers in parts of Queensland and the Newcastle region.

ARM Architecture in court over alleged cartel conduct for university project

The ACCC has today launched civil proceedings in the Federal Court against Ashton Raggatt McDougall Pty Ltd (ARM Architecture) and its former managing director, Anthony (Tony) John Allen, alleging they engaged in cartel conduct by attempting to rig bids for the tender for a building project at Darwin’s Charles Darwin University.

In 2018, Charles Darwin University announced plans for a new $250 million Education and Community Precinct in the heart of the Darwin CBD. The project is primarily funded by the Commonwealth Government and the university.

First individuals are sentenced for criminal cartel conduct

The Federal Court has sentenced four individuals to suspended prison terms and imposed a one million dollar fine on Sydney money remittance business Vina Money in a prosecution conducted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), following a joint investigation by the ACCC and the Australian Federal Police.

The sentences relate to price fixing of the Australian dollar/ Vietnamese dong exchange rate and the transaction fees charged to customers who were sending money from Australia to Vietnam, which took place between January 2012 and August 2016.

CFMEU and Hutchinson to pay penalties for boycott conduct

The Federal Court has today ordered the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and construction company J Hutchinson Pty Ltd (Hutchinson) to pay penalties of $750,000 and $600,000 respectively for boycott conduct in breach of competition laws, in proceedings brought by the ACCC.

This follows the Court’s earlier finding that the CFMEU and Hutchinson entered into an agreement to boycott a waterproofing subcontractor at a Brisbane building site, meaning the subcontractor could no longer perform the work.

Bingo Industries pleads guilty to alleged demolition waste cartel

Waste company Bingo Industries has today entered pleas of guilty to criminal cartel offences relating to price fixing for demolition waste services in Sydney. Bingo was charged with these offences today after an investigation by the ACCC and referral to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).

It is alleged that in mid-2019, Bingo agreed with its competitors Aussie Skips Bin Services and Aussie Skips Recycling to fix and increase prices for the supply of skip bins and the provision of waste processing services for building and demolition waste in Sydney.