Be aware of cartel behaviour and penalties

By Institute of Directors
22 Jun 2022
read time
1 min to read
Two men trading documents in a dark room

Outcomes of cartel cases in Australia and New Zealand highlight the need for directors and boards to be fully aware of conduct and activities that amount to cartel behaviour. 

A money transfer price fixing case in Australia brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Commerce Commission Australian counterpart, has resulted in criminal penalites for those involved with jail time of up to two years. Price fixing is a form of cartel behaviour.

Another case in New Zealand related to freight forwarders brought by the Commerce Comission also highlights the perils of cartel behaviour. While not a criminal case, it resulted in significant fines for individuals (up to $100,000) and for the companies (up to $4.9 million).

These cases did not involve directors.  However, it is a timely reminder that directors and boards need to be aware of cartel behaviour and changes to the Commerece Act that came into effect in April last year. We have previously provided guidance on cartel criminalisation and directors.

In addition, to support directors and boards understand the nature of cartel behaviour and the associated penalties, the Commerce Commission has a produced a tool to help improve understanding of cartel behviour.