http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.22Change: -0.23
R/$ = 11.16Change: -0.09
Au 1240.10 $/ozChange: -4.17
Pt 1243.50 $/ozChange: -18.70
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jun 01, 2012

SA’s Competition Commission downgraded in global survey

Back
Construction|Africa|Resources|System|Africa|France|Germany|Japan|South Africa|United Kingdom|The Global Competition Review
Construction|Africa|Resources|System|Africa||
construction|africa-company|resources|system|africa|france|germany|japan|south-africa|united-kingdom|the-global-competition-review
© Reuse this



South Africa’s Competition Commission has fallen to three stars in the Global Competition Review’s 11th yearly 'Rating Enforcement' survey from three-and-a-half stars last year, owing to a number of defeats in the courts and concerns about its independence.

The survey, which was made public on Friday, tracked the performance of the world’s leading competition authorities.

South Africa’s Competition Commission’s greatest challenges last year came from the checks and balances of the country’s legal system, as a number of re-referrals and a spate of losses at appeal stage raised questions about the quality of its analysis and the scope of its investigative powers.

The commission lost six of seven appeals filed against it during the period. Several of these fell on procedural or technical grounds, as courts blocked the commission’s attempts to amend cases after filing them before the Competition Tribunal.

In the June case involving agri-businesses Senwes, which was accused of anti-competitive conduct, the Supreme Court of Appeal rejected the commission’s attempt to include new allegations of a margin squeeze after the complaint had been filed.

In August, the Competition Appeal Court ruled in favour of fertiliser companies Yara South Africa and Omnia, again refusing the commission’s right to amend the content of its complaint after submission.

The commission was challenging these decisions before the Constitutional Court, fighting for broader interpretation of its investigatory powers. The survey stated that although practitioners sympathised with the commission’s search for clarity, there were fears that a more permissive approach could give the commission excessive powers.

“Some suggest this balance is already beginning to tip in favour of the commission, marked by its increasingly ‘adversarial’ approach to mergers, particularly ones involving foreign entities,” it was said in the document.

Further, the commission was penalised for only blocking two of the 288 mergers filed in 2011. There was, however, a marked increase in the use of remedies, as 28 mergers were cleared with conditions compared to 11 in 2010.

“Although lawyers praise the ‘increased sophistication and complexity’ of merger reviews, they say the authority’s position can sometimes be unpredictable, labelling some of its recent decisions as ‘bizarre’,” the survey stated.

The authority attached extensive employment conditions to both the Walmart/Massmart and Kansai/Freeworld tie-ups, originally requiring Japanese-based Kansai to build a new car paint factory before acquiring Freeworld.

The survey suggested that conditions were becoming increasingly detached from the competition concerns lawyers seek to address, instead fulfilling government objectives linked to job creation and the protection of South African small and medium-sized enterprises.

However, the authority was praised for having 'pockets of excellence’ in its wider staff and general approachability. This was shadowed by leadership gaps in two divisions following the departure of head of mergers Maarten van Hoven and the head of the advocacy division.

The commission still struggled to retain staff, as its average two-year tenure was the shortest in the survey and over two-thirds of its 2011 staff joined that year.

Meanwhile, enforcement activity increased. It levelled a total of almost €50-million in nine cartel cases in key industries.

The survey further stated that there were signs of a “more mature and nuanced” approach to enforcement, with the authority willing to offer significant fine reductions for companies in exchange for compliance with investigations.

The fast-track settlement programme devised to deal with 204 leniency applications relating to a cartel in the construction industry was described as a “pragmatic” response to stretched resources.

The broader leniency programme gained validation in July when a court dismissed a cartelist’s claims that immunity granted to a co-conspirator was unlawful.

But some lawyers argue that leniency success should not distract from the commission’s overall “failure to start cartel investigations from scratch”. There were no dawn raids conducted in 2011, compared to four the previous year.

There remained concerns about the long-term impact of what many perceive to be an increasingly political commission, the survey stated.

Other competition authorities that were downgraded included the UK’s Office of Fair Trading that fell to four stars, following a dismal year for its cartel enforcement programme.

The European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition and the US Department of Justice’s antitrust division retained their five‐star ratings, while Germany’s Federal Cartel Office and France’s Competition Authority joined the elite five‐star competition agencies, motivated by their good performance in all areas of competition enforcement.

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission was also promoted to four‐and‐a‐half stars, in particular for its aggressive and successful cartel enforcement efforts and its good merger control work.
 

Edited by: Mariaan Webb
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Competition Policy News
JSE-listed Metair Investments on Monday assured shareholders that no member of its group had been implicated or listed in connection with the Competition Commission’s investigation into alleged collusion within the South African automotive component industry. The...
The Competition Commission was mulling the reopening of an investigation into exclusivity clauses placed within long-term lease agreements between owners of large retail shopping centres and retail anchor tenants across the country after complaints from commercial...
Two acting deputy commissioners for the Competition Commission have been appointed for a six-month term starting October 1, as a process for permanent appointments for these roles continued. Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel reappointed Advocate Oliver...
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 3 hours ago Swedish Ambassador to South Africa Christian Meuwly will next week inaugurate the final roll-out of the new vertical shaft brick kiln (VSBK) at clay brick manufacturer Langkloof Bricks’ facility in Jeffrey’s Bay. The VSBK formed a part of economic, social and...
Updated 3 hours ago Hot on the heels of the launch of Rustenburg’s rapid transport system’s brand name and logo last week, a negotiation framework agreement (NFA) has been formally agreed to and signed by the Rustenburg Local Municipality (RLM) and taxi and bus operators affected by the...
Updated 3 hours ago The runway at the George Airport, in the Western Cape, has been rehabilitated to improve safety, in terms of run-off and storm water drainage, and the structural capacity of the pavement surface. The scope of work comprised the extension of Runway 11/29, the...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Integrated energy and chemical company Sasol has partnered with Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) professor and founder and CEO of PanAvest Partnership Dr Douglas Boateng to publish a series of books on executive supply chain management aimed at...
MORNÉ DU PLESSIS Increased urgency and burgeoning awareness of the importance of these issues are beginning to change political risks and, thus, State responses to environmental concerns
The World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF’s) 2014 Living Planet Index (LPI) indicates that there has been a 52% decline in vertebrate species since 1970. The Index tracked the trends of 10 000 discrete populations of over 3000 vertebrate species between 1970 and 2010.
Rwanda has joined a number of East African countries seeking to import electricity from Ethiopia as its demand grows. After it became apparent several generation project it is implementing will not come on stream early enough, now plans to import 400 MW from Ethiopia...
Metrorail’s first new passenger train will arrive in November next year, says Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) CEO Lucky Montana. “Next year we will be able to put our hands around the infrastructure and equipment we have been talking about for so long.”
The Competition Commission has launched an investigation into what it says are “price fixing, market division and collusive tendering in the market for the manufacture and supply of automotive components to original equipment manufacturers” (OEMs, or vehicle...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks