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Full Federal Court orders $20.6 million penalties against Cement Australia companies

Staff Writer |
The Full Court of the Federal Court has upheld an ACCC appeal, and dismissed a cross appeal by Cement Australia, against the penalties imposed on Cement Australia and its related companies for making and giving effect to anti-competitive agreements.

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The trial judge had imposed penalties of $17.1 million against the Cement Australia companies.

The Full Court has now ordered these companies to pay increased penalties totalling $20.6 million for breaching the anti-competitive provisions of the Act.

This is the third highest total penalty imposed for an ACCC case.

The penalties imposed on each Cement Australia company were:

- $2.93 million against Pozzolanic Enterprises Pty Ltd

- $10.28 million against Cement Australia (Queensland) (formerly QCL)

- $7.29 million against Cement Australia Pty Ltd

- $100,000 against Pozzolanic Industries.

$he Full Court upheld the ACCC’s ground of appeal that related to the imposition of a single penalty, jointly and severally, on two respondent companies involved in one contravention.

In upholding this ground, the Full Court confirmed that “[d]eterrence is the primary objective for the imposition of civil penalties”, and considered “that the imposition of a joint and several penalty would risk undermining this objective.”

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