2018 saw a number of record breaking penalties imposed by Australian courts against companies and individuals for breaching Australian competition and consumer laws.
- a penalty of $46 million imposed against Yazaki Corporation for cartel conduct – the highest penalty ever imposed against a company under the Competition and Consumer Act
- a penalty of $350,000 imposed against a director of Oakmoore Pty Ltd (trading as EGR) for being a knowing participant in exclusive dealing – the highest penalty ever imposed against an individual director for breach of the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act
- a penalty of $12 million imposed against We Buy Houses Pty Ltd and a penalty of $6 million imposed against its sole director for false or misleading representations – the highest penalties ever imposed against a company and an individual for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law
2018 also saw the first criminal prosecution of a director for contravening the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Australian courts will impose hefty penalties against companies and directors who breach Australian competition and consumer laws.
Hence, it is an opportune time for businesses to review their risk and compliance management practices and relevant business documents to ensure they are fully compliant with Australian competition and consumer laws.