BlueScope Steel, has been fined AUD 57.5 million ($37m) for attempting to fix prices for flat steel products supplied in the country. The Federal Court has imposed the highest penalty ever imposed for cartel conduct in Australia. Jason Ellis, the company's former general manager of sales and marketing, was also fined AUD 575,000, which cannot be recovered from an insurance company by Court order.
Justice O'Bryan emphasized the importance of the deterrent effect of the penalty and warned businesses and individuals that attempting to fix prices with competitors will have serious consequences, even if the attempt fails. The ACCC initiated civil cartel proceedings against BlueScope and Ellis in August 2019, finding that they had attempted to induce eight steel distributors in Australia and Taiwanese manufacturer Yieh Phui to enter agreements to fix or raise the level of pricing for flat steel products supplied in Australia between September 2013 and June 2014.