http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.69Change: -0.05
R/$ = 12.32Change: -0.01
Au 1168.78 $/ozChange: -0.02
Pt 1083.00 $/ozChange: 1.00
 
 
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 Letters 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
Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Latest News
An end to wage negotiations within the local government sector could be in sight as a conciliator’s proposal, setting out a number of settlement suggestions to resolve the deadlock, was expected on Monday. The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu)...
Development financier Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) executive Noludwe Ncokazi on Friday said the organisation had the “huge responsibility of ensuring business continuity”, following the resignation of ECDC subsidiary Automotive Industry Development...
South Africa’s second-largest oil refinery, Engen Refinery (Enref), is set to undergo a three-day planned maintenance outage from July 9 as part of an ongoing maintenance programme to ensure that the facility, which delivers a significant portion of South Africa’s...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
NHLANHLA NENE The main constraints to economic growth are domestic
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene earlier this month stated that, while South Africa’s 2015 economic growth target of 2% was achievable, it was not enough to deliver the tax revenue needed to combat the country’s challenges.
The World Steel Association has published the 2015 edition of the World Steel in Figures report, which shows an increase in steel production as well as provides an overview of steel industry activities from crude steel production to apparent steel use.
The 25-year master plan for Gauteng’s Aerotropolis project will go through a process of approval and adoption during June and July, says Aerotroplis project manager Jack van der Merwe. “We are also in the process of putting together a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to...
SOLAR PANELS The existing buildings in the Coega Industrial Development Zone lent themselves well to rooftop solar panel installations
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) plans to fit 15 of its buildings, totalling 127 000 m2 of roof space, in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), in the Eastern Cape, with solar panels.
The Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA’s) November 2014 judgment, ordering steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) to hand over the 2003 Environmental Master Plan for its Vanderbijlpark steel plant to environmental pressure groups, confirmed the right of civil...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96