Monday, 15 April 2019 10:15

ACCC, FBI sign agreement to ‘strengthen’ efforts to combat cartels, anti-competitive behaviour Featured

By
Rod Sims, ACCC chairman Rod Sims, ACCC chairman

Australia’s competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has inked a new memorandum of co-operation with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation which it says will strengthen the agencies’ joint efforts in combating cartels and other anti-competitive behaviour.

The MOC provides for the exchange of expertise and staff between the two agencies to enhance work in the detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal competition offences.

The agreement was signed in Washington, DC, by ACCC executive general manager Marcus Bezzi and follows a visit to the FBI headquarters by ACCC chair Rod Sims and Bezzi in March this year.

Sims said the MOC recognised and built on the growing relationship between the ACCC and the FBI.

“Our relationship with the FBI has deepened considerably in the past few years, including a visit by FBI representatives to Australia to discuss investigative techniques and information exchange.

"There are significant benefits for ACCC staff and the agency more broadly in learning about the techniques and approaches of the FBI in cartel and other competition law investigations. The future co-operation between the FBI and the ACCC to detect and deal with criminal cartel conduct will be very important to us.”

“Combatting anti-trust is critical to both the US and Australian economies, and vigorous investigative cooperation is vital in detecting and eliminating antitrust conspiracies,” said Section Chief J.J. Jimenez of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.

“The FBI is proud of its relationship with the ACCC, and this memorandum of cooperation codifies that relationship and provides opportunity for increased information- and resource-sharing as we work toward a common goal in preventing anti-competitive behaviour.”

The ACCC says the MOC complements an existing inter-governmental agreement between Australia and the United States, which allows for in-depth co-operation between the ACCC and various competition law enforcement bodies in the US.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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