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Penalties

Thursday 20 May 2021
 
              
 
The Art of Bid Rigging
 The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) has commenced proceedings in the cartel conduct space against Delta Building Automation for bid a rigging attempt with a bid in connection National Art Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

“The alleged cartel behaviour, involving an attempt to bid rig with a competitor in respect of bids for the tender of a government institution like the National Gallery of Australia, is of particular concern as it had the potential to impact the cost to taxpayers,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in an official statement last week. 

The official statement from the competition regulator highlighted that former Delta Building Automation Director Timothy Davis, acting on the behalf of the company, attempted to arrange with a competitor in late 2019.
 
Penalties for disclosure breach
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced this week that Regional Express Holdings (REX) has paid $66,000 for failing to comply with continuous disclosure obligations. 

According to the securities regulator that REX  “…11 May 2020 to 12 May 2020 by failing to inform the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that it was considering the feasibility of commencing domestic operations in addition to its regional operations.”
The regulator indicated that listed entities are required “…immediately disclose material information in certain circumstances”.

“Continuous disclosure of information protects the integrity of the market by ensuring investors are provided with equal and timely access to information about an entity,” ASIC said in an official statement. 
 
 
Not Fair and Orderly
Macquarie Securities has to pay $126 000 for an infringement notice which was issued the Markets Disciplinary Panel (MDP).

This is the first time when a company is being subject penalty regime that started March 2019. 
According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the  Markets Disciplinary Panel (MDP) has questions about the company’s conduct in buy back transactions and does not believe that they were ‘fair or orderly’. 
 
 
Fraud and Manipulation
A former CFO is found have undermined market integrity. 
Traditional Therapy Clinics CFO Zhonghan Wu has been sentenced to a year and 10 months imprisonment for market manipulation.

“An ASIC investigation found between 8 September 2015 and 30 November 2015, Mr Wu carried out and attempted to carry out, multiple share transactions in TTC shares using four different trading accounts.”  The regulator indicated in an official statement. 
 
Franchise to pay heavy penalties
Jump Swim has been ordered to pay the $23 million for misleading and deceptive conduct. 

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the founder and former managing director Michael Campbell has been ordered to pay 500,000 in compensation to franchisees and then pay penalty of $400,000. 

The competition regulator alleged that the franchisor falsely represented to 174 franchisees that they would have a n operational swim school within 12 months old signing the franchise agreement. 

“We took this action to help franchisees achieve some compensation and to seek orders preventing Mr Campbell and Jump Swim from signing up further franchisees to Jump Swim or another future franchise,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said in an official statement.