Australia watchdog warns large fines the norm after Volkswagen case

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The head of Australia's competition regulator on Friday said a record fine of A$125 million (66.1 million pounds) imposed on Volkswagen AG VOWG_p.DE was just a taste of what companies could expect in the future.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chair Rod Sims told reporters the agency would be using its new expanded powers to punish illegal activity with the largest fines possible.

“Companies can expect the ACCC to be seeking much higher penalties in future,” said Sims. “We are going to see penalties of way over A$100 million as the norm.”

“It is a penalty that also sends a very clear message to corporate Australia not to breach the law.”

Earlier, a federal court penalised Volkswagen for allegedly making false representations about compliance with the country’s diesel emission standards.

Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Himani Sarkar