ACCC lodges appeal against Federal Court egg cartel ruling
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is appealing the Federal Court’s decision that a group of egg producers did not try and establish an egg cartel.
On 10 February 2016 the Federal Court said the Australian Egg Corporation Limited (a promotional group for the Australian egg industry), Farm Pride Foods and Ironside Management Services did not encourage producers to limit the availability of eggs in order to push up prices.The ACCC today however confirmed it would appeal against this decision.
The ACCC also originally alleged that James Kellaway, Managing Director of the Australian Egg Corporation Limited, and Jeffrey Ironside, Director of Australian Egg Corporation Limited and Twelve Oaks Poultry, had encouraged cartel arrangements. The Federal Court dismissed these allegations which the ACCC will now appeal.
The ACCC said the Federal Court had dismissed its allegations saying while it had established that the respondents intended that egg producers should take action to address and correct an oversupply of eggs, it did not establish that this action was intended to be pursuant to an agreement or understanding involving mutual or reciprocal obligations by competing producers.
Chairman of the ACCC Rod Sims said detecting and deterring cartel conduct continues to be a major focus for the ACCC.
“It is important that we seek clarity from the Full Court on issues of what will and will not constitute attempted cartel conduct, particularly in the context of conduct by a trade association interacting with its members,” Sims stated.
Australian Food News contacted the Australian Egg Corporation Limited for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.
Relevant article: Court finds against ACCC in Australian egg cartel accusations.