$25 million fine imposed for criminal cartel conduct

$25 million fine imposed for criminal cartel conduct

The purpose of competition law is to regulate the market to ensure businesses in competition with one another remain competitive to protect consumer interests.

Making or giving effect to cartel provisions in an arrangement, agreement or understanding is expressly prohibited under the provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).  A breach of these provisions can give rise to both civil and criminal penalties.

Recently, the Federal court convicted Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), a Japanese shipping company, for engaging in criminal cartel conduct by giving effect to the cartel provisions.  These provisions generally related to the fixing of freight rates, bid rigging and allocation of customers between competitor shipping companies.

NYK were ordered to pay a fine of $25 million.  The ACCC is continuing investigations in relation to the other alleged participants.

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