Earlier this year, we reported on the first successful extradition of a foreign national for criminal anti-competitive conduct. In April 2014, Italian citizen Romano Pisciotti was extradited to the United States from Germany for bid-rigging conduct in the marine hose industry. He has since entered a plea agreement and has been sentenced to 24 months imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of US $50,000.
Our European colleagues at King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin have recently noted that Mr Pisciotti has launched an action against the European Commission in the EU General Court. Mr Pisciotti is alleging that Germany breached the rules on free movement of business people within Europe, and that the European Commission failed to take adequate action when it rejected his challenge to the extradition in the European Court of Human Rights earlier this year.
Under Australian law, conduct of the nature alleged against Mr Pisciotti could be subject to a maximum 10 year jail term and/or a criminal penalty of up to $220,000. To date, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has not commenced proceedings alleging criminal cartel conduct. Also, while Australia has not sought to extradite persons for breaches of competition law, it does have the power to do so with a variety of countries with whom Australia has extradition agreements, provided those countries have criminal penalties for anti-competitive conduct.
We will keep you updated as the Pisciotti case progresses.