I agree with Graeme Samuel: send well-dressed criminals who steal systematically from the public to jail. As in the US, Canada and Britain those who operate cartels that fix prices and steal hundreds of millions of dollars from the public should go to jail. Visy Industries is the worst example of collusion in Australian history a Federal Court judge said yesterday – yet it got a trifling $36 million fine.
The prospect of a lengthy term in the clink would make the Richard Pratts of this world think twice about engaging in or being tolerant toward collusive behaviour. A $36 million fine, when there are hundreds of millions of dollars in potential gains from flouting the law, does not provide the same disincentive.
Further thoughts: The relatively paltry fine does however offer some encouragement for non-contract customers to pursue their joint $700 million class action claim against both Visy and Amcor. As I pointed out in an earlier post the law here that gave immunity from prosecution under trade practices legislation to Amcor for dobbing in Visy first does not imply an exemption from other civil damage claims. For the legal motivation for the structure of law here see my earlier posts here, here and here.