The Federal Court has found telecommunications cable manufacturer, Prysmian, involved in cartel conduct in relation to the supply of high voltage land cables for Snowy Hydro.
In proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the action follows the Italian company's recent delivery of new optical cable lines in Australia, as part of the nbn rollout across the country.
The court found that Prysmian was a party to an agreement with other cable manufacturers and suppliers to ‘allocate’ the Snowy Hydro 2003 tender to Prysmian.
As part of the agreement, Prysmian had access to pricing guidelines of its competitors bids so it could offer a higher bid to secure the win.
Justice Besanko found the tender agreement as part of an over-arching plot between Japanese and European cable manufacturers that provided for the allocation of high voltage land and submarine cable projects across the globe.
As part of this cartel arrangement, projects offered for tender were ‘allocated’ to either the Japanese or the European group of manufacturers and then to a particular company within that group.
“This is another example of the ACCC enforcing Australian cartel laws in relation to collusive arrangements made outside of Australia but which have the potential to affect Australian consumers and businesses,” ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said.
A hearing on penalty and other relief sought by the ACCC against Prysmian will take place on a date to be fixed by the court.