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The ACCC Immunity Policy for Cartel Conduct: Due for Review

62 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2013  

Caron Beaton-Wells

Melbourne Law School

Date Written: August 27, 2013


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Immunity Policy for Cartel Conduct is seen as a vital tool in detecting, stopping, prosecuting and deterring cartel conduct. In May 2013 the ACCC announced that it is conducting a review of the policy. The review is significant because, amongst other things, it will examine the way in which dual civil/criminal applications for immunity are being handled in a process involving the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, introduced in 2009. Drawing on a broader research project relating to immunity (leniency) policies, this paper raises a series of questions that should be treated as relevant to the ACCC’s review, including questions relating to the operation and interpretation of the policy, its effectiveness in meeting its stated objectives and its role and effects in the overall system of enforcement and compliance.

Keywords: cartels, immunity, leniency, Australian competition and consumer commission

JEL Classification: K00, K14

Suggested Citation

Beaton-Wells, Caron, The ACCC Immunity Policy for Cartel Conduct: Due for Review (August 27, 2013). U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 654. Available at SSRN: or

Caron Y. Beaton Wells (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010


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