The long arm of Australian courts
As it turns out you can be done for collusive conduct in an Australian court even if you’re outside of Australia when it takes place – but not for price fixing.
The Federal Court of Australia has found that Japanese company Yazaki Corporation engaged in collusive conduct with another supplier when supplying wire harnesses to Toyota in 2006 and 2011.
The case was brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and alleged that Yazaki had engaged in collusive conduct by conspiring with another company to present Toyota with coordinated quotes.
The case fell under Australian consumer law because the wire harnesses were to be used by Toyota Australia in the manufacture of the Toyota Camry.
The court found that Yazaki was essentially carrying out business in Australia, even though most of the collusive conduct took place in Japan.
However, the court also found that because the conduct took place in Japan that Yazaki could not be pursued for price fixing under the current law.
“Even where collusive arrangements are made outside Australia, the ACCC will seek to enforce Australian cartel laws to protect Australian consumers and industry,” ACCC chairman Rod Simms said.
Ironically, the action came about because of an immunity application which reported the conduct.
Yazaki has been pursued for similar conduct by regulators in the US, Canada, and Japan.