A report released by the Ministry of Economic Development raises the prospect of up to seven years imprisonment for those involved in 'hard core' cartel behaviour. Jail time would bring New Zealand into line with countries such as Australia (which has only recently criminalised cartel conduct) and the United States, which has seen enforcement agencies routinely seeking imprisonment since the 1970s.
The MED report also raises a number of other issues, including whether increases in monetary penalties and rewards for whistleblowers should be adopted.
Whether to criminalise cartel conduct is a complex issue – the deterrence effects of incarceration clearly need to be weighed against the very real risk that legitimate competitive conduct could be stifled. The MED is calling for submissions on the paper and Bell Gully will be canvassing its clients and the wider business community in the course of compiling its response.
Bell Gully named as the leading NZ competition law practice for the 6 th year running
Leading international publisher Global Competition Review has again judged Bell Gully's competition law team as New Zealand's best. The GCR 100 is a guide to the top competition law practices internationally and this is the sixth year in a row that Bell Gully has been named as New Zealand's leading competition law practice.
The guide describes how the Bell Gully team were involved in several of last year's most significant mergers including advising Danone Asia on the sale of the Frucor Group to Japan's Suntory and the successful "failing firm" application regarding Fletcher Building's acquisition of certain masonry assets from Stevenson Group.
The Bell Gully team provides the full range of competition law advice and is comprised of competition law specialists with corporate, litigation and economic expertise. The team advises clients in a wide range of industries and has been involved in many of the leading mergers and acquisitions, market conduct, and cartel matters in recent years.
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