Bingo Skip Bin cartel exposed after ACCC investigation in Sydney

A waste management company has admitted to operating an illegal trash cartel in conjunction with two other companies to raise and fix prices.

Bingo Industries pleaded guilty on Tuesday and was charged with criminal cartel offenses relating to the price fixing of demolition waste services in Sydney following an ACCC investigation and a referral to the Director of Prosecutions Commonwealth Public Relations (CDPP).

The company is said to have agreed with rivals Aussie Skips Bin Services and Aussie Skips Recycling to set and raise prices for the supply of skips and the provision of construction and demolition waste handling services in Sydney in mid-2019 .

Bingo’s former chief executive and CEO, Daniel Tartak, has also been charged with two criminal cartel offenses relating to alleged breaches of the cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act. The cases will be heard by the Federal Court.

The maximum fine for each criminal cartel offense committed by corporations is the greater of $10 million, three times the total profit that has been obtained and is reasonably attributable to the commission of the offense, or if the value of the profit obtained cannot be determined, 10 per cent of the company’s annual turnover related to Australia.

A person convicted of a criminal cartel offense could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison or fined up to $444,000 or both.

“When companies manage to fix prices, they usually do so to increase profits, and it is consumers who pay for the increased costs,” said ACCC President Gina Cass-Gottlieb.

“We are committed to detecting and investigating serious cartel allegations and taking appropriate action against those involved in illegal cartel behavior, including referring cases to the CDPP.

“Not only does the conduct of a cartel frequently affect consumers, but it can also significantly harm competing businesses and the economy in general. Trying to detect cartels early and working with whistleblowers is an essential part of our work. »

In response to the ACCC report, Bingo Industries claimed the case did not reflect its “values ​​or standards of conduct”.

“Bingo has cooperated with the ACCC and CDPP throughout its investigation and regrets that the matter occurred. This does not reflect Bingo’s values ​​or standards of conduct,” the company said in a statement.

“The case primarily relates to certain prizes over a period of approximately two months in July and August 2019 at Bingo’s bingo and processing businesses in Sydney, the latter primarily at three facilities.

“Since the matter occurred, there have been significant changes to Bingo’s ownership, board of directors and management team, including improvements to Bingo’s governance processes.

“The final decision (including with respect to penalties) will be subject to the decision of the Federal Court.”

The matter will be scheduled for a case management hearing in Federal Court at a later date.

Aussie Skips Bin Services and Aussie Skips Recycling have been contacted by for comment.

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