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OECD finds Australian competition law penalties are significantly lower

27 March 2018
Read Time 2 mins reading time

In a recent OECD report – Pecuniary Penalties for Competition Law Infringements in Australia – it was found that the penalties for breach of Australian Competition Law are significantly lower than other OECD countries. Based on an average Australian penalty from sample cartel cases, the report estimated Australian penalties would need to be increased by 12.6 times to be comparable with the average of other OECD countries. The ACCC stated that breaches of competition law shouldn’t be “an acceptable cost of doing business”, and they will revise their approach to penalty submissions (1) by giving greater focus on the size of the contravening corporation; (2) making references to the company’s turnover; and (3) the value of commerce affected.

Separately, the Australian Parliament is currently looking into increasing the penalties for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law provisions, to mirror the penalties currently available for contravention of competition law. Along with the ACCC’s renewed focus on meeting OECD standards, there appears to be an upwards trend in competition and consumer law penalties.

To ensure your business is compliant with competition law, please contact our Commercial team for more information.

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OECD finds Australian competition law penalties are significantly lower

27 March 2018

In a recent OECD report – Pecuniary Penalties for Competition Law Infringements in Australia – it was found that the penalties for breach of Australian Competition Law are significantly lower than other OECD countries. Based on an average Australian penalty from sample cartel cases, the report estimated Australian penalties would need to be increased by 12.6 times to be comparable with the average of other OECD countries. The ACCC stated that breaches of competition law shouldn’t be “an acceptable cost of doing business”, and they will revise their approach to penalty submissions (1) by giving greater focus on the size of the contravening corporation; (2) making references to the company’s turnover; and (3) the value of commerce affected.

Separately, the Australian Parliament is currently looking into increasing the penalties for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law provisions, to mirror the penalties currently available for contravention of competition law. Along with the ACCC’s renewed focus on meeting OECD standards, there appears to be an upwards trend in competition and consumer law penalties.

To ensure your business is compliant with competition law, please contact our Commercial team for more information.