Section 45 of the Competition and Consumer Act prohibits concerted contracts, agreements, agreements or practices with the purpose, effect or likely effect of significantly weakening competition in a market, even if this conduct does not meet the stricter definitions of other anti-competitive practices such as cartels. A number of factors are considered by the courts in reaching a decision: In Stirling Harbour Services Pty Ltd v. Bunbury Port Authority  FCA 38; (2000) ATPR 41-752, Justice French stated that to find out if competition is significantly reduced… Competitors` conduct with respect to cartels and abuse of dominance is the most serious form of anti-competitive behaviour under Chapter I or Section 101, which is the highest. A “hardcore” cartel is a cartel that includes price fixing, market sharing, supply manipulation or limiting the supply or production of goods or services. Persons prosecuted for cartels in the United Kingdom may be subject to imprisonment of up to five years and/or an unlimited fine. The best results are achieved by discouraging companies from creating agreements. Severe sanctions are therefore a fundamental element of an effective policy on cartels and abuse of dominance against fundamental agreements. Sanctions imposed on individuals for their involvement in the conspiracy are an important complement to the funds paid to organizations for cartel behaviour. These sanctions may take the form of significant administrative sanctions or, in some countries, the criminal sanction of detention. The prospect of detention can be a strong deterrent for businessmen considering a cartel agreement.
The geographic area in which a product is marketed – for example, the Sydney Metropolitan newspaper market, the south-east Queensland gas market. Anti-competitive agreements are also classified as horizontal and vertical agreements. A particularly serious type of anti-competitive agreement would be cartels. Agreements on cartels and abuse of dominance generally consist of setting prices, manipulating tendering procedures, dividing markets or limiting production. As a result, cartels have little or no incentive to lower prices or offer better quality goods or services. According to economic studies, cartels overload an average of 30%.