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The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) has today withdrawn charges against Citigroup Global Markets Australia Pty Limited (Citigroup), Deutsche Bank AG and four senior banking executives.

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Dots, here's a line. We hope you like being joined up.

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has "granted authorisation" for a scheme to collect and recycle batteries. The scheme, known as "The Battery Stewardship Council," was originally launched in 2918. In December 2017, Elon Musk's Tesla company installed the then biggest Lithium-Ion battery in the world in South Australia. This week, it's been announced that its size has been increased.

In Australia, 14 airlines have been found to have colluded to fix prices for freight. The latest to be brought to book is Garuda Indonesia and the penalties are substantial.

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has been looking at how prices at petrol pumps move, with changes taking place in what, on the face of it, seems in concert. But, the ACCC says, there is in fact no evidence of collusion: it's simply price-watching and price-matching between operators. And if consumers take advantage of hints, there could be an enormous injection of discretionary spending from disposable income or a reduction in credit card debt across the country.

The news, then, is that what might have been suspected as a crime is not a crime at all.

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There's bound to be some head-scratching going on after the announcement of a cartel case relating to blood and body tissue. Before the "yuk" factor makes you turn the page, we should explain: it's all about stem cell preservation.

CoNet Section: 

There's a huge amount of excitement in Australia about the prosecution of several bankers for colluding in a share support scheme where a share issue did not fully sell out. Instead of being charged with market manipulation, itself a serious offence, federal prosecutors have taken the alternative of charging them with cartel offences. There's a lot of people spinning like tops, having panic attacks about what it means for investment banking and the professional support services like lawyers and accountants that are a central part of all public offers. But there is nothing complex about the fundamentals of the case.

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It's the fault of Hollywood and TV producers everywhere, with a bit of help from the tabloids and the over-excitement of both American politicians and law enforcement: as soon as someone mentions "cartel," thoughts jump to major drugs gangs. It's the same problem that led to a survey result in the UK where children thought the emergency telephone number is 911 (it's 999 and there are also European standard numbers that start with a 1 but no one can be bothered to remember them). In the vast majority of cases, the word "cartel" doesn't relate to drugs gangs at all. In relation to the way people conduct business by means of illegal collusion. That might not be as "sexy" as the idea of bankers being dragged to jail with their noses still covered in white powder but the ramifications of the...

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