ICCC moves to curb cartel conduct

The Independent Consumer & Competition Commission (ICCC) is developing a leniency policy in a move to curtail cartel conduct.

The ICCC revealed this during a seminar hosted to commemorate World Competition Day on December 5th.

A ‘Leniency Policy’ gives companies full or partial immunity from fines or penalties when they provide information about a cartel in which they participated in.

Cartel conduct is an agreement by competitors to coordinate their prices or output in order to increase their collective profit.

This can include:

  • Price fixing
  • Bid-rigging
  • Cover pricing
  • Boycotts
  • Market sharing
  • Allocating customers;
  • And limiting production or supply.

Cartel conduct is said to likely cause economic harm and is increasingly difficult to identify.

That is why the development of leniency policies aims to encourage parties involved in cartel conduct to come forward with information so they may not be punished or prosecuted.

Currently the ICCC Act prohibits price fixing and exclusionary provisions.

Meanwhile the ICCC is developing the Confidentiality Claims Guidelines.

(Filepic of Lae wharf which is located in PNG’s industrial zone)

Cedric Patjole