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Acquitted of Cartel Allegations

Friday 4 June 2021

Country Care Group, CEO Robert Hogan and former employee Cameron Harrison were acquitted of the eight criminal cartel offences earlier this week.

This comes after allegations of price fixing and bid rigging of ‘assistive technology products’.  According the to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) these products are commonly used for rehabilitation and aged care. 

On the conduct between the May 2014 and May 2016 ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in an official statement, “We were concerned this alleged conduct had the potential to increase prices paid by consumers for rehabilitative and assistive technology products which are essential for the health, wellbeing and dignity of people with disabilities or who are undergoing rehabilitation or are in aged care. It also had the potential to increase prices paid by governments for these essential products.”

Had the competition regulator been successful, it would have been four criminal prosecutions relating to cartel conduct. 
Three Criminal Prosecutions
The three international shipping companies that have been convicted are Nippon Yusen Kaisha, which was fined $25 million and K-line with the largest fine, which was $34 million.   

Earlier this year, the third international company was a Norwegian-based Wallenius Wilhelmesen Ocean, which was ordered to pay $24 million.

“We will remain vigilant and take enforcement action, as appropriate, in relation to anti-competitive behaviour during tendering for the supply of goods and services,” Sims said.