Australia's cartel crackdown is 'unsatisfying'

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 23 Aug 2017

Australia’s competition regulator has prosecuted criminal cartel behaviour for the first time, seven years after introducing the regime.

Local lawyers expressed some disappointment that after waiting almost a decade for the result, the conviction gives away little about the regulator’s style going forward.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced in August 2016 that it had laid the country’s first ever criminal cartel charge, against Japanese shipping company NYK. The company pled guilty to the charges and agreed to cooperate.

NYK was convicted of cartel behaviour concerning vehicle transportation to Australia between 2009 and 2012

The long wait was largely down to the ACCC needing to establish protocols for how it will work together with the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).

“We were certainly waiting a long time for this – though in the ACCC's defence, there have been examples of criminal prosecutions not going well...