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Civil penalties for cartel conduct: An OECD Review of the Australian Regime

 |  April 29, 2018

For much of the early part of the last decade the focus of Australian competition law and enforcement has been on the introduction and implementation of criminal sanctions for individuals for cartel conduct, introduced in 2009. Almost ten years on, a critical review of civil penalties for companies is timely.

Building on prior OECD work comparing sanctions for competition law infringements, Australia recently asked the OECD to review its penalties regime and compare it with the practices of a number of representative OECD jurisdictions. The report, published in March 2018, confirms what many have been saying for some time: Australia’s penalties are too low for deterrence and the approach to penalising corporates for anti-competitive conduct needs to change.

To explore this topic, Professor Caron Beaton-Wells, Director of the Competition Law and Economics Network at Melbourne Law School, was joined by Sean Ennis and Pedro Caro de Sousa of the Competition Division of the OECD, for a discussion in Melbourne.