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ACCC Join Global Taskforce To Fight Supply Chain Collusion

The ACCC, has teamed with the US Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Canadian Competition Bureau, NZ Commerce Commission, and UK Competition and Markets Authority to form Five Eyes, an authority tasked with fighting illegal supply chain behaviour.

The five competition authorities will focus on illegal conduct, including collusion, in global supply chains, in light of the rocketing freight rates, costs which are being passed onto consumers.

“The global freight supply chain is a complex network involving many jurisdictions, so naturally detecting anti-competitive conduct requires strong international partnerships,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“COVID-19 has caused the supply chain disruptions the world is currently experiencing, but the purpose of this working group is to detect any attempts by businesses to use these conditions as a cover to work together and fix prices.”

“We will be sharing intelligence to identify any behaviour that restricts or distorts competition, and companies are now on notice that the ACCC and its international counterparts will be ready to act.”

Freight rates on key global trade routes are currently seven times higher than two years ago.

“Australia is an open, trade-exposed economy, and like the other international agencies in this working group, we have a very strong interest in preserving strong competitive markets for global trade,” Sims said.

According to ACCC, Five Eyes will be watching for “cartels and any other activities that materially impact competition, such as exclusionary arrangements by firms with market power.”

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