Although it won’t go to court until towards the end of next year at the earliest, and will probably drag on for years after that (unless the parties settle with the ACCC), there’s no doubt that the collaboration between Visy and Amcor – which may or may not turn out to be have been a cartel under the trade practices legal definition of that word – was an intriguing one. Were the top executives at Australia’s two biggest cardboard box companies meeting to rig the market, or were they meeting to discuss “industry matters”? That’s for a court to decide – aided by a parade of the most expensive QCs and lawyers the legal profession has to offer. In the meantime, the Visy-Amcor business collaboration remains a fascinating case study in inter-industry relations.

*New award.

Peter Fray

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