Two companies involved in the manufacture and supply of key chemical input materials used to make detergents, cosmetics and toiletries have agreed to pay fines to the Competition Commission after admitting to price fixing and dividing markets.
Investchem and Akulu Marchon are manufacturers and suppliers of a range of surfactant products widely used in retail goods.
In 2014, the commission conducted a search and seizure operation at the premises of both companies as part of an investigation into cartel activities.
The investigation uncovered that, between 2003 and 2013, Investchem and Akulu Marchon, which are competitors, agreed to fix prices for surfactants.
The commission also found that Investchem and Akulu Marchon divided the market by agreeing to not pursue each other’s customers.
Investchem has agreed to pay a penalty of about R23-million, while Akulu Marchon will pay about R14-million, in terms of the settlement agreement each company concluded with the Competition Commission.