Corporate cartel conduct in Australia is regulated by Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (“CCA”). A corporate cartel exists when actual or potential competitors agree to a cartel provision.
A cartel provision is defined as a provision of a contract, arrangement or understanding that occurs between two actual or potential corporate competitors. The purpose or effect of the condition must be to fix, control and maintain price or to:
- prevent, restrict or limit production, capacity or supply;
- allocate customers; or
- bid rig.1
Australian law provides for both criminal and civil penalties for those found to have contravened the offence provisions. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC”) is responsible for investigating cartel matters, while the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (“CDPP”) is responsible for prosecuting such cases.
The Federal Court of Australia has jurisdiction for civil matters arising under the Act2 and exclusive jurisdiction in respect of criminal proceedings. The State and Territory Courts have jurisdiction to deal with certain offences3 as well as examinations and commitment for trial on indictment.
- Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), s 45AD(2)-(3).
- Ibid., s 86
- Ibid., s45AF or 45AG offences can be dealt with in state and territory Courts.