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Court finds evidence of anti-competitive behaviour in Australian case

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World Cement,

The Federal Court in Brisbane has found Cement Australia Pty Ltd and others guilty of anti-competitive practices in relation to contracts entered into between 2002 and 2006 to acquire flyash from various power stations in South East Queensland. The case was brought to the court by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which cited five corporate respondents, including Cement Australia Pty Ltd, Cement Australia Holdings Pty Ltd, Cement Australia Queensland Pty Ltd, Pozzolanic Enterprises Pty Ltd and Pozzolanic Industries Pty Ltd. Findings were made against all but Cement Australia Holdings Pty Ltd. Justice Greenwood found that the actions of the respondents purposely prevented competitors from entering the market. ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said, "Anticompetitive conduct remains an enforcement priority for the ACCC. The ACCC took action in this matter originally due to its concern that a dominant player in a market appeared to be foreclosing, and preventing, competition. The declarations and findings made by the court demonstrate this concern was warranted." Penalties will be determined at a later date.

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