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Australian Cartel Regulation

Caron Beaton-Wells and Brent Fisse
Cambridge University Press, February 2011

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Publisher's description

'A fundamental element of competition policy, cartel regulation is crucial in minimising the adverse effects of cartel activity on economic welfare. Yet the implementation of effective cartel regulation poses distinct challenges for governments, competition authorities and commentators across the globe. In Australian Cartel Regulation, leading competition law experts Caron Beaton-Wells and Brent Fisse reflect on developments in trade practices law in Australia over the last 30 years. They provide a comprehensive account of the current law as well as discussing key issues that may arise in the future. This definitive volume not only identifies the practical and theoretical issues, but also recommends workable solutions, and does so with the benefit of comparative analysis of the anti-cartel laws of major overseas jurisdictions. Many of the issues identified and discussed in Australian Cartel Regulation are common to any scheme designed to regulate cartel conduct.'


From the Forwards

The Hon Peter Heerey QC, Dawson Chambers

“The present work is a welcome attempt to unravel the key issues of law and policy raised by so major a change to the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth). The authors are leading academic and professional competition lawyers in Australia. They explain the new legislation in detail, point out its shortcomings, and propound sensible improvements... it will without doubt be quickly recognised as indispensable.”

George Hay, Cornell Law School

“...the student of comparative law, as well as Australian practitioners and enforcement agencies who need to be knowingly concerned in the application of the legislation, will find much to learn from this comprehensive analysis by Beaton-Wells and Fisse..”


Table of contents

  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The legal framework governing cartel conduct
  • 3. Collusion (contracts, arrangements and understandings)
  • 4. Cartel and other provisions
  • 5. Fault elements of the cartel offences
  • 6. Individual liability
  • 7. Corporate liability
  • 8. Exceptions
  • 9. Enforcement policy
  • 10. Immunity and cooperation policies
  • 11. Sanctions
  • 12. Compliance and liability control
  • 13. Conclusion


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Julie Clarke, 'Book Review: Australian Cartel Regulation: Law, Policy and Practice in an International Context by Caron Beaton-Wells and Brent Fisse, Cambridge University Press, 2011, 685 pages, ISBN 978 0 521 76089 8, $189.00 (hardback)' (2011) 18(3) Competition and Consumer Law Journal 299

"The aims of the book have been thoroughly achieved. The authors have produced by far the most comprehensive examination of Australia’s cartel laws - either before or post the criminal regime implemented in 2009. There is no doubt that it will become, as The Hon Peter Heerey QC predicts in his forward, an ‘indispensible’ resource for those with a desire or need to understand Australia’s cartel laws." (at 302)

Roger Featherston, 'Australian Cartel Regulation' (2011) 39 ABLR 140

'The book is both academic and practical. It aims to appeal to a wide audience: lawyers, enforcement agencies, legislators and law reform agencies, industry associations, economists, compliance professionals, researchers and university students (p 9), and will undoubtedly succeed in attracting such a diverse audience. For the most part, it has avoided the pitfall of trying to cater for too many different interests, and its content, structure and internal navigational aids will ensure that it will be a valuable, informative, educative and practical reference book across that wide-ranging audience.' (at 142)

R J Desiatnik, 'Book Review: Australian Cartel Regulation: Law, Policy and Practice in an International Context' (2011) 19 AJCCL 240

'[The book] is comprehensive in its treatment of the elements of cartel conduct, the establishment of individual and corporate liability, the exceptions to such liability, the regulator’s enforcement immunity and co-operation policies, the sanctions and the other controls of such conduct. The detail of the treatment of those topics is impressive, and the commentary, backed up as it is by the combined expertise of the authors, and the footnotes to every one of the book’s 582 pages of text, commands attention.

The work in unquestionably well researched, its chapters are logically arranged and, in keeping with its subject matter, it contains references to overseas legislation, case law and articles, which are both considerable and illuminating. ...'


More information

The book was launched by The Honourable Peter Heerey QC on Tuesday 17 February 2011 at the Melbourne Law School.

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