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Cartel charges for company operating in Kingaroy

Business

Alkaloids of Australia, which operates out of Queensland, and its former export manager have each been charged with 33 criminal cartel offences.

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Alkaloids of Australia produces and supplies the active pharmaceutical ingredient SNBB, used in antispasmodic medications taken to relieve stomach pain and bowel cramps.

The ingredient comes from the Duboisia plant that is grown commercially for the pharmaceutical industry in and around Kingaroy.

The ACCC alleges that Alkaloids of Australia and other overseas suppliers of SNBB made and gave effect to arrangements to fix prices, restrict supply, allocate customers and/or geographical markets, and/or to rig bids for the supply of SNBB to international manufacturers of generic antispasmodic medications.

The allegations extend over a period of almost 10 years, beginning on 24 July 2009, when criminal cartel laws came into force in Australia.

“Cartel conduct, such as price-fixing, market and customer allocation, and bid-rigging, is a very serious breach of the law,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“The specific purpose of most cartels is to increase the profits of the cartel members by agreeing to act together instead of competing with each other.”

“We are committed to pursuing cartel conduct allegations, in order to protect businesses and consumers from the economic harm of such conduct,” Sims said.

Alkaloids of Australia has operations in Queensland and NSW. Its head office is in Sydney.

The matter is listed in the Downing Centre Local Court on 19 January 2021.

The ACCC said the matters will be prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

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