Discussion paper and draft legislation on Criminal Penalties for Serious Cartel Conduct

The Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, Chris Bowen has released a discussion paper
in relation to the
Government’s commitment to implement criminal penalties for serious
cartel conduct.

Cartel conduct refers to contracts, arrangements or
understandings between competitors to fix prices, share markets,
control output or rig bids.

Attached to the discussion paper is an exposure draft of the Trade
Practices Amendment (Cartel Conduct and Other Measures) Bill 2008
Bill), including the proposed new criminal offences and revised civil
prohibitions, amendments relating to the investigation and prosecution
of the new offences, and associated amendments.

The discussion paper also seeks input on two specific issues:

  • how to distinguish the criminal prohibitions from the civil prohibitions; and
  • whether telephone interception warrants should be available in relation to the new criminal cartel offences.

Submissions close on 29 February 2008.

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