Recently enacted changes to the Commerce Act 1986 significantly extend the scope of what can be considered to be cartel conduct prohibited by the Commerce Act. Common, and often pro-competitive, commercial arrangements will be subject to greater scrutiny. This is particularly true of distribution arrangements and joint ventures. There are limited exceptions for certain collaborative activity and for certain provisions in vertical supply contracts. Previous proposals for criminalisation of cartel conduct were not ultimately adopted. However, the consequences of breach are still severe. They include potentially large pecuniary penalties, exposure to damages and the unenforceability of contracts. Core Prohibition The...Read More
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