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Competition Law Reading Room

Cartel reform and compliance with the Trade Practices Act

Graeme Samuel
Australian Corporate Lawyers Association National Conference
13 November 2009, Melbourne


From the introduction

'The new legislation brings Australia into line with the toughest approaches in the world. Domestically this means serious cartel conduct will get the harsh treatment it deserves, as being anathema to the public interest, and internationally that Australia will no longer be regarded as a second order priority when it comes to addressing international cartel activity.

A number of issues have been raised by the corporate sector and the legal fraternity as to how we respond now that the criminal offence is part of our toolkit. Questions that have been asked include:

How will the criminal offence and civil prohibitions operate? If given the option of either, what will the ACCC prefer?

Will the ACCC’s approach to cartel investigation differ from the past?

How will the ACCC’s immunity policy work?

So today I plan to survey the rationale for the legislation – which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has publicly supported for a number of years – then step through the changes to the Trade Practices Act 1974 (the Act) and finally discuss how we will go about applying the law in practice.'


Download from ACCC web site.