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Criminal Penalties for Serious Cartel Conduct – Draft Legislation

Date:

Friday, 11 January 2008

Content ID:

1330

Abstract:

The purpose of this discussion paper is to serve as a basis for consulting stakeholders in relation to the Government’s commitment to implement criminal penalties for serious cartel conduct. Cartel conduct refers to contracts, arrangements or understandings between competitors to fix prices, share markets, control output or rig bids. Such conduct harms consumers, businesses and the economy by increasing prices and reducing choice, service, innovation and efficiencies.

The discussion paper outlines the key elements of the Trade Practices Amendment (Cartel Conduct and Other Measures) Bill 2008 (the Bill), including the proposed new criminal offences and revised civil prohibitions, amendments relating to the investigation and prosecution of the new offences, and associated amendments.

The discussion paper also seeks input on two specific issues:

  • how to distinguish the criminal prohibitions from the civil prohibitions; and
  • whether telephone interception warrants should be available in relation to the new criminal cartel offences.

Attachment A to the discussion paper is an exposure draft of the Bill which is released for public comment. The exposure draft has not yet been finalised by the Government for introduction into Parliament, and is released for consultation purposes only. As a consequence, it is merely a guide as to how the proposed legislation to criminalise cartel conduct may operate. The Bill may be amended as a result of consultation.

Attachment B to the discussion paper is a draft copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) intend to enter into when serious cartel conduct is criminalised. The MOU is directed at facilitating arrangements between the ACCC and DPP in relation to the proposed criminal offences and related matters.

Stakeholders are invited to submit comments on either of the two specific issues outlined above, or any other matter related to the initiatives contained in the Bill.

Submissions closing date: 29 February 2008

Address written submissions to:

Competition and Consumer Policy Division
The Treasury
Langton Crescent
PARKES ACT 2600

Email: cartelsbill@treasury.gov.au

Documents Available:


Acrobat (PDF) documents

 Acrobat (PDF)

Criminal Penalties for Serious Cartel Conduct - Discussion Paper  64.77kb
Trade Practices Amendment (Cartel Conduct and Other Measures) Bill 2008 - Exposure Draft Bill  280.12kb
Draft MOU Between the Commonwealth DPP and the ACCC Regarding Serious Cartel Conduct  153.08kb

Microsoft Word (RTF) documents

 Microsoft Word (RTF)

Criminal Penalties for Serious Cartel Conduct - Discussion Paper  141.82kb
Trade Practices Amendment (Cartel Conduct and Other Measures) Bill 2008 - Exposure Draft Bill  525.71kb
Draft MOU Between the Commonwealth DPP and the ACCC Regarding Serious Cartel Conduct  77.61kb

Related Items:

Submissions: Criminal Penalties for Serious Cartel Conduct – Draft Legislation - 4/03/2008

Treasury has received a number of submissions regarding Criminal Penalties for Serious Cartel Conduct – Draft Legislation.  The submissions that do not contain confidential material are listed below and are accessible by selecting the author.  The closing date for submissions was 29 February 2008, however, Treasury notes that some submissions received later will be posted as soon as they are available.

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