Cartel dirt comes out in the ACCC wash

 In Australia, NewZealand, Woolworths
With the fireworks of New Year’s Day 2008 still ringing in their ears, senior executives from US consumer goods giant Colgate-Palmolive and Australia’s biggest supermarket chain Woolworths met to discuss the direction of the $500 million laundry detergent industry.
It was at this meeting that Colgate laid out its plan to cook up a cartel involving the three leading suppliers of laundry products in Australia, according to allegations made by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Indeed, it was this meeting, the ACCC claims, that would see Colgate and main rivals, Cussons and Unilever, move in lock-step to launch on the unsuspecting public a new ”ultra concentrate” detergent category. The date of that first meeting is almost laughable because only three days later, on January 11, the federal government released a draft bill to criminalise cartel behaviour, seeking up to five years’ jail for company executives who were caught in the act.  Sydney Morning Herald – Read more…

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