The Memorandum will sit alongside existing arrangements already in place between Australia and the US that provide for transnational cooperation between the ACCC and American competition law enforcement agencies.
The Memorandum endeavours to enhance each entity’s detection, investigation and prosecution of competition offences. In particular, the ACCC has announced its intention to utilise this partnership to combat cartel conduct (which is prohibited by Part IV, Division 1 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)). This will assist the ACCC in achieving its aim to increase the number of cartel investigations that reach a conclusion and prosecution to three (3) per year, as published in the ACCC’s 2019 Compliance and Enforcement Policy.
Broadly speaking, cartel conduct involves a contract, arrangement or understanding between two or more parties that are, or would otherwise be, in competition, and which relates to:
In a time where government regulators have been heavily questioned and scrutinised in the public eye, the Memorandum demonstrates the ACCC’s ongoing dedication to properly regulating and enforcing the laws it governs.
All businesses ought to have an understanding of the cartel conduct provisions, particularly given the ACCC’s intention to focus on combating such conduct utilising this new alliance with the US.
McCabe Curwood has experience in advising its clients on the operation of the Competition and Consumer Act and the Australian Consumer Law, and in resolving commercial disputes involving allegations of misleading or deceptive conduct.