The BCA supports robust, effective competition law as an important element of business regulation in Australia. Cartel conduct is inconsistent with the efficient operation of markets, and the BCA has always supported the criminalisation of serious cartel conduct.
However, the laws to criminalise serious cartel conduct must be clear and readily and simply understood by businesspeople and the wider public. Additionally, the process of investigating and prosecuting serious cartel conduct that constitutes a criminal offence should include certain safeguards that are currently available to individuals in other criminal investigations.
Any new business laws or proposed changes to existing anti-cartel provisions should only occur where:
- there is a clearly identifiable problem to be addressed;
- the proposed reforms achieve the purpose for which they are intended (without having unintended consequences); and
- where they do not stifle ordinary and legitimate business behaviour.