Cartels

Action over alleged market sharing cartel in the overhead crane industry

The ACCC has today commenced civil proceedings in the Federal Court against overhead crane company NQCranes Pty Ltd, alleging it engaged in cartel conduct in contravention of the Competition and Consumer Act.

The ACCC alleges that NQCranes entered into a signed agreement with a competitor in the overhead crane market in August 2016. This agreement allegedly included a cartel provision to share the market by not targeting each other’s customers for overhead crane parts and servicing in Brisbane and Newcastle.

Ex BlueScope GM Jason Ellis pleads guilty to obstructing cartel investigation

Jason Ellis, a former general manager of sales and marketing at BlueScope Steel Limited (BlueScope), has today entered a guilty plea in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court to one charge of inciting the obstruction of Commonwealth public officials in the performance of their functions.

The charge arose from actions taken by Mr Ellis during the ACCC investigation into alleged cartel conduct by BlueScope and its representatives. The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).

Wallenius Wilhelmsen pleads guilty to criminal cartel conduct

Norwegian-based global shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean AS (WWO) has today entered a guilty plea in the Federal Court to criminal cartel conduct.

After an ACCC investigation, on 23 August 2019 the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) charged WWO with cartel conduct regarding the transportation of vehicles, including cars, trucks and buses, to Australia between June 2011 and July 2012.

Cartel immunity policy strengthened, whistleblowing tool launched

The ACCC has strengthened its cartel immunity and cooperation policy to enhance its transparency and clarify its scope.

The updated immunity policy, which has been informed by experience gathered during key criminal investigations, will come into effect on 1 October 2019.

It will continue to cover cartel conduct such as price-fixing, market sharing, bid rigging and customer allocation, and will clarify that the policy does not cover anti-competitive concerted practices.

ACCC immunity & cooperation policy: frequently asked questions - October 2019

This document supplements the ACCC immunity and cooperation policy for cartel conduct – October 2019. The frequently asked questions may be amended from time to time to address issues that may arise in the application of the policy.

ACCC immunity & cooperation policy for cartel conduct - October 2019

This policy sets out the ACCC’s approach to applications for immunity from proceedings initiated or authorised by the ACCC or the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) in relation to cartel conduct, and how cooperation provided to the ACCC by cartel participants will be recognised.

Appeal on cartel conduct in the Mount Penny coal licence cartel case dismissed

An ACCC appeal against a Federal Court judgment in relation to alleged bid rigging conduct involving Cascade Coal Pty Ltd (Cascade), Paul and Moses Obeid and others was dismissed today by the Full Federal Court.

The appeal focused on whether parties associated with Obeid family members and Cascade were “in competition” at the time they withdrew a bid for Mount Penny and Glendon Brook mining exploration licences. The Full Federal Court has concluded there was no error of law on that issue.

Action against BlueScope for alleged cartel conduct

The ACCC has instituted civil proceedings in the Federal Court against BlueScope Steel Limited (BlueScope) and its former general manager sales and marketing, Mr Jason Ellis, for alleged cartel conduct in relation to the supply of flat steel products.

The ACCC alleges that between September 2013 and June 2014, BlueScope and Mr Ellis attempted to induce various steel distributors in Australia and overseas manufacturers to enter agreements containing a price fixing provision. 

Global shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen charged with criminal cartel conduct

Following continuing investigations by the ACCC, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean AS (WWO), a Norwegian-based global shipping company, has today been charged with criminal cartel conduct.

The charge relates to alleged cartel conduct concerning the international shipping of certain vehicles to Australia between June 2011 and July 2012.

The charge was laid by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution (CDPP) in the NSW District Registry of the Federal Court. The matter has been set down by the Court for a first mention on 29 August 2019.