Australia’s Bingo Industries Pleads Guilty To Price Fixing

Bingo Industries, a former ASX-listed company that was taken over last year through a $2.3 billion bid by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, has pleaded guilty to criminal cartel offences involving the price fixing of demolition waste services in Sydney.

The action, brought after an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, has also netted former Bingo CEO Daniel Tartak who is facing two criminal cartel offences. The charges carry a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment and-or a fine of up to $444,000 for a director.

Bingo Industries faces a corporate penalty of up to $10 million or three times the benefit obtained by the price fixing, whichever is greater. Failing that, Bingo could be ordered to pay 10 per cent of annual turnover, which totalled $486.7 million in FY20.

The ACCC investigation centred on Bingo’s business activities in mid-2019 when the company came to an agreement with competitors Aussie Skips Bin Services and Aussie Skips Recycling to fix and increase the prices that they charged for their skip bins and their waste processing services for building and demolition waste in Sydney.

The ACCC alleges that the arrangement breached the cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act.

“When companies arrange to fix prices, they usually do so to increase their profits, and it is consumers that pay the increased cost,” says ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb.

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