Pitfalls in proving price-fixing: Are price-signalling laws the answer?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Establishing a breach of the price-fixing prohibitions in Part IV Division 1 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010(Cth) (‘CCA’) depends on the apparently simple requirement that a ‘contract, arrangement or understanding’ to fix prices can be shown to exist between competitor corporations. However, proof of any such agreement has been problematic for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (‘ACCC’) in actions for alleged price-fixing within a range of industries. This article considers the judicial interpretation of the terms ‘contract, arrangement or understanding’ and the type of evidence needed to prove that a price-fixing agreement exists. It also examines the scope and effect of the price-signalling provisions under Part IV Division 1A of the CCA and, in the light of international competition law jurisprudence, contemplates how these provisions may affect the ACCC’s ability to prove price-fixing claims. Possible future directions in this area of the law, resulting from the recommendations of the recent Harper Review, are explored as well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-135
Number of pages25
JournalBond Law Review
Volume27
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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price fixing
Law
term contract
international competition
jurisprudence
corporation
act
interpretation
industry
ability
evidence

Cite this

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title = "Pitfalls in proving price-fixing: Are price-signalling laws the answer?",
abstract = "Establishing a breach of the price-fixing prohibitions in Part IV Division 1 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010(Cth) (‘CCA’) depends on the apparently simple requirement that a ‘contract, arrangement or understanding’ to fix prices can be shown to exist between competitor corporations. However, proof of any such agreement has been problematic for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (‘ACCC’) in actions for alleged price-fixing within a range of industries. This article considers the judicial interpretation of the terms ‘contract, arrangement or understanding’ and the type of evidence needed to prove that a price-fixing agreement exists. It also examines the scope and effect of the price-signalling provisions under Part IV Division 1A of the CCA and, in the light of international competition law jurisprudence, contemplates how these provisions may affect the ACCC’s ability to prove price-fixing claims. Possible future directions in this area of the law, resulting from the recommendations of the recent Harper Review, are explored as well.",
author = "Francina Cantatore and Brenda Marshall",
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}

Pitfalls in proving price-fixing : Are price-signalling laws the answer? / Cantatore, Francina; Marshall, Brenda.

In: Bond Law Review, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2015, p. 111-135.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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