A PYMNTS Company

Australia: ACCC takes action against Obeid family, alleging cartel conduct

 |  May 25, 2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is alleging bid rigging by six companies and five individuals, including Moses and Paul Obeid, sons of disgraced former state Labor minister Eddie Obeid.

The Federal Court proceedings relate to the Mount Penny coal exploration licence, which was examined in detail by ICAC in 2013.

The Obeid family owned land in the Bylong Valley, located in the state’s Hunter region, covered by the coal exploration licence.

The ACCC is alleging that a company called Loyal Coal, associated with Paul and Moses Obeid, agreed to withdraw from the NSW Government’s tender process for a mining exploration licence in return for a 25 per cent stake in the project and the purchase of the land for four times its value.The ACCC said Cascade won the tender after Loyal withdrew its bid.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said a company related to Loyal, which held the 25 per cent interest in the project, later sold that for benefits valued at $60 million, of which around $30 million was cash distributed to beneficiaries of an Obeid family trust.

“The Obeid family interests were involved in this, we allege — the $30 million that was part of the settlement for buying back 25 per cent interest in Cascade,” Mr Sims told The World Today.

“That cash went to a range of Obeid family interests … but the two people most closely involved, we allege, are Moses and Paul Obeid.”

The ACCC said the alleged agreement cost NSW taxpayers millions in lost fees.


Full content: Business Insider

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.