ACCC: Full Federal Court dismisses cartel appeal

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) stated that the Full Federal Court of Australia has dismissed an appeal by electric cable manufacturer Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi S.R.L. (Prysmian) against a ruling that it engaged in cartel conduct in the supply of high voltage land cables.

Prysmian's cartel conduct related to the supply of high voltage land cables and accessories to a Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme project in 2003.

The Federal Court found in 2016 that Prysmian entered into and gave effect to agreements involving price guidance to competitors and project allocation. The court ordered a penalty of $3.5 million. "We welcome the Full Court's decision confirming the trial judge's decision that Prysmian engaged in cartel conduct," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

"The ACCC is committed to pursuing cartel conduct which can cause significant harm to consumers, other businesses, and the competitive process the economy depends on," Mr Sims said.

In its appeal to the Full Court, Prysmian argued that the trial judge erred in finding that it had engaged in cartel conduct in circumstances where the ACCC's case against Nexans SA, another alleged participant in the conduct, had been dismissed. Prysmian also argued there were errors in the trial judge's reliance on witness evidence.

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