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ACCC: You win some you lose some

When it comes to appeals, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) both won and lost last week.

On Friday, the ACCC said that the Federal courts refused the Yazaki’s appeal on the $46 million judgments for allegedly engaging in cartel conduct.

“Cartel behaviour, such as price fixing and market sharing, undermines competition and increases the prices for customers and taxpayers,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

According to the 2017-2018 report, this penalty is the highest to date for breaching competition law.

For that financial period, the competition regulator secured $170 million in penalties.

“We will continue to seek higher penalties where we see consumer detriment or deliberate breaches of competition laws. This past year we’ve also welcomed the legislated increase to serious financial penalties available for breaching consumer law, bringing them in line to competition law penalties,” Sims said.

The competition regulator said that the Japanese company tried to challenge the decision that was handed down in the Federal court in early May.

The chairman went on to say that these high penalties were important and sends a message to large corporates that breaching the competition laws is unacceptable.

But Pfizer decision stands

However, the ACCC was unsuccessful in their appeal to the High Court for special leave to appeal the Federal Court’s position.

According to the ACCC, the Federal Court did recognise that the Pfizer used their substantial market power in their May decision but did not accept the regulator’s allegations that the “purpose of substantially lessening competition or deterring or preventing competitors from competing”.

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