ACCC wants bigger fines for bigger firms

The ACCC hopes an international report into global antitrust sanctions will lend extra force to its argument that bigger companies should face bigger penalties.

The ACCC hopes an international report into global antitrust sanctions will lend extra force to its argument that bigger companies should face bigger penalties for breaching consumer law.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has told a Committee for Economic Development of Australia event in Sydney that ensuring penalties are big enough to deter wrongdoing is one of the watchdog's top priorities.

Global card giant Visa and Australian firm Cabcharge have paid similar penalties for contraventions of consumer law despite the huge difference between the companies' size, Mr Sims said.

A report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development due at the end of March should allow a comparison between Australia's approach to antitrust sanctions and that of other developed countries, he said.

"Put simply, we believe large businesses should bear penalties which are commensurate to their size, in order to achieve specific and general deterrence," Mr Sims said on Tuesday.

"Making this happen is a huge priority and challenge for the ACCC in 2018."

Source: AAP

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