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OECD Report on Pecuniary Penalties

Australian coins On 26 March 2018 the OECD released its report on Pecuniary Penalties for Competition Law Infringements in Australia.

The report, prepared by Pedro Caro de Sousa, Sean Ennis and Semin Park, of the OECD's Competition Division, compares pecuniary sanctions for competition law infringements in Australia to that of other major OECD jurisdictions.

The report concludes that 'Australia is an outlier' in relation to 'how low the pecuniary penalties it imposes are by comparison to all other systems'. Several possible explanations for this are discussed. In particular, the report details the different approach Australia takes to determining pecuniary penalties when compared with other jurisdictions.

The report recommends Australia consider action to 'ensure pecuniary penalties better deter anticompetitive conduct' (p 8)

OECD Report

The report was presented at an OECD workshop in Sydney

For related coverage see:


While visiting Australia to release the report, Sean Ennis and Pedro Caro de Sousa spoke with Prof Caron Beaton-Wells (Director, Competition Law and Economics Network, Melbourne Law School) about the importance of pecuniary penalties for cartel conduct and consideration of how Australia's penalty levels and processes compare with other comparable OECD jurisdictions.

The resulting podcast provides a very useful discussion of the issues; it runs for about 30 minutes.


See also the podcast page for a description of the podcast and links to related material.

Related research and seminars

Two of the authors of the report, Sean Ennis and Pedro Caro de Sousa,presented at the Melbourne Law School's Competition Law and Economics Network discussion group on 28 March. This was followed by commentary from Professor Caron Beaton-Wells and Assoc Prof Julie Clarke.

See Civil Penalties for Cartel Conduct: An OECD Review of the Australian Regime

A separate paper exploring corporate financial penalties in Australia for cartel conduct was published by Caron Beaton-Wells and Julie Clarke on the same day that the OECD report was released:

A version of this this paper was presented at the 'Cartels, Optimal Enforcement and Theories in Competition Law' Symposium held in Brisbane on 27 March 2018.