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Competition Policy News

Group Five granted immunity from competition authorities for 15 construction projects 

By: Simone Liedtke     6th August 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved a settlement agreement in terms of which construction company Group Five will receive immunity for cooperating with the Competition Commission’s investigation into the construction industry and disclosing its participation in 15 construction projects as a... 

New twist in M&R battle as takeover body disallows further progress on Aveng tie-up

By: Terence Creamer     2nd August 2018 The protracted tussle for control of Murray & Roberts (M&R) took yet another turn this week, after the Takeover Special Committee (TSC) overturned a June decision by the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP), allowing M&R to continue with preparations for a potential combination with Aveng, despite the... 

New twist in M&R battle as takeover body disallows further progress on Aveng tie-up

Commission granted 15-day extension in proposed OTS, Chevron South Africa merger

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd August 2018 The Competition Tribunal has granted the Competition Commission a 15 working day extension to consult interested parties to a proposed merger between Off the Shelf 56 (OTS) and Chevron South Africa (CSA). OTS, which already owns 25% of CSA, is seeking to acquire the remaining 75% interest in CSA... 

Competition Bill includes ‘greater flexibility’ for large firms to collaborate

By: Terence Creamer     19th July 2018 The overarching objective of the Competition Amendment Bill is to foster a “new deal for economic transformation and inclusion”, but Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel also notes that the proposed legislation introduces greater flexibility for collaboration by large firms. Speaking at... 

Competition Bill includes ‘greater flexibility’ for large firms to collaborate
Photo by Dylan Slater
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

Competition Amendment Bill 

18th July 2018 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the changes proposed in the Competition Amendment Bill, which has been tabled before Parliament. 

Competition Amendment Bill
Competition Amendment Bill

Google hit with record $5bn EU antitrust fine

By: Reuters     18th July 2018 EU regulators hit Google with a record €4.34-billion ($5-billion) antitrust fine on Wednesday for using its Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals. The penalty is nearly double the previous record of €2.4-billion, which the US tech company was ordered to pay last year over its... 

Competition Bill’s national security veto of foreign mergers ‘tightly codified’

By: Terence Creamer     17th July 2018 The national security veto included in the Competition Amendment Bill, which was tabled before Parliament on Tuesday, had been “tightly codified” so as not to deter potential investors, but rather offer certainty, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said during a briefing in Cape Town.... 

Competition Bill’s national security veto of foreign mergers ‘tightly codified’
Photo by Creamer Media
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

Designation status a cabling industry boon

By: Paige Müller     13th July 2018 Providing the cable industry with designation status has helped the industry to grow despite a myriad of local manufacturing barriers, says the Association of Electrical Cable Manufacturers of South Africa (AECMSA). The Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) revised Preferential Procurement... 

Designation status a cabling industry boon
MANUFACTURING NIGHTMARE The unique local cable manufacturing challenges make cable production in South Africa particularly costly and time-consuming

Competition Amendment Bill to be submitted to Parliament 

By: Terence Creamer     5th July 2018 Cabinet has approved the submission of the Competition Amendment Bill to Parliament. In a statement released following its July 4 meeting, Cabinet said the amendments provide for an extension of the mandate of the competition authorities and the executive to address high levels of economic... 

Competition Amendment Bill to be submitted to Parliament
Photo by Creamer Media
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

ATON’s mandatory offer undervalues company, M&R reiterates in circular

By: Terence Creamer     2nd July 2018 The board of engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) has again guided shareholders not to accept ATON’s mandatory offer of R17 a share, which it argues undervalues M&R’s strategic platforms and business prospects. The board made the statement in a circular response to ATON’s... 

ATON’s mandatory offer undervalues company, M&R reiterates in circular

Takeover panel clears way for M&R to move on Aveng tie-up amid ongoing ATON opposition

By: Terence Creamer     21st June 2018 Murray & Roberts (M&R) announced on Thursday that it would proceed to further develop a potential tie-up with Aveng after the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) sanctioned the outcome of an earlier shareholder vote, which approved a resolution stating that the proposed Aveng deal was not designed to... 

Takeover panel clears way for M&R to move on Aveng tie-up amid ongoing ATON opposition

ATON welcomes tribunal’s M&R voting-rights ruling, despite restrictions

By: Terence Creamer     18th June 2018 Investment company ATON, which is seeking to acquire Murray & Roberts (M&R), has welcomed a Competition Tribunal ruling opening the way for it to vote all its shares at a general meeting at which M&R shareholders will vote on the merits of a proposed transaction with Aveng. The meeting is... 

ATON welcomes tribunal’s M&R voting-rights ruling, despite restrictions

Davies bemoans corruption’s undermining of industrial policy capability

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th June 2018 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies on Monday said corruption undermines industrial policy capabilities.  

Davies bemoans corruption’s undermining of industrial policy capability
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies

ATON bemoans M&R’s Competition Tribunal application

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th June 2018 German investment company ATON says JSE-listed Murray & Roberts (M&R) has initiated another ‘frustrating action’ against its offer to acquire all shares in M&R, by trying to prevent ATON from exercising its full rights and voting against M&R’s proposed combination with construction giant Aveng.  

African Open Skies plan putting cart before horse – Nigerian airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th June 2018 Nigerian airlines are not enthusiastic about any rapid implementation of the Single African Air Traffic Market (SAATM). This was made clear at the recent 27th Annual African Aviation Summit (Air Finance Africa) by national industry association Airline Operators of Nigeria CEO Noggie Meggasin.  

Tribunal confirms R40m settlement agreement with Cape Gate

By: Simone Liedtke     7th June 2018 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a R40-million settlement agreement with wire and steel manufacturer Cape Gate, following the company’s admission of price fixing, dividing markets and collusive tendering in respect of lightly galvanised wire, nails, wire and various wire products. The... 

Taxi industry calls for subsidies at public transport market inquiry, bemoans planning weakness

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th June 2018 The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) on Monday voiced its concerns about the state of the taxi industry on the first day of the Competition Commission’s land-based public passenger transport market inquiry, which is in its information gathering phase. The inquiry will look at various... 

ATON questions logic of M&R’s proposed ‘poison pill’ Aveng deal

By: Terence Creamer     31st May 2018 Investment company ATON, which is preparing a mandatory offer to buy all the shares in Murray & Roberts (M&R) it does not already own, has reiterated it steadfast opposition to M&R’s proposed acquisition of Aveng, describing the proposed Aveng transaction as a “poison pill” to prevent a takeover... 

ATON questions logic of M&R’s proposed ‘poison pill’ Aveng deal
Photo by Creamer Media
ATON says Aveng transaction would distract M&R from focusing on growth opportunities in mining

M&R says meeting set with ATON to discuss ‘highly strategic’ Aveng deal

By: Terence Creamer     30th May 2018 Murray & Roberts (M&R) confirmed on Wednesday that it would be meeting with its largest single shareholder, ATON, to discuss the merits of M&R’s proposed acquisition of Aveng, which it continues to describe as “highly strategic”. No date has been provided for the meeting, which is being pursued... 

M&R says meeting set with ATON to discuss ‘highly strategic’ Aveng deal

Commission approves NBC, ECM merger without conditions

By: Simone Liedtke     30th May 2018 The Competition Commission has approved the proposed transaction, whereby newly-incorporated company North Block Complex (NBC) intends to acquire Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga (ECM) in respect of its mining and processing business, the transferred business, without conditions. The transferred business,... 

Commission recommends tribunal approve Sea Harvest, Vikings merger

By: Simone Liedtke     30th May 2018 The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that Sea Harvest Corporation’s proposed acquisition of certain fishing rights and assets used in operating the fishing business of Vikings Fishing Holdings, be approved with conditions. The proposed merger, the commission... 

Commission approves Hudaco’s Boltworld acquisition, with conditions

By: Simone Liedtke     30th May 2018 The Competition Commission has approved, with conditions, the proposed merger whereby industrial supplies company Hudaco intends to acquire industrial equipment supplier Boltworld. The commission does not believe the proposed transaction will substantially prevent or lessen competition in any... 

As ATON prepares mandatory offer, M&R board says higher price still ‘undervalues’ company

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2018 The takeover battle for engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) by German investment company ATON intensified this week with ATON announcing its intention to make a new mandatory offer, following a Takeover Special Committee (TSC) ruling instructing ATON to withdraw its earlier... 

As ATON prepares mandatory offer, M&R board says higher price still ‘undervalues’ company

ATON ‘open to engage’ with M&R board as offers is made mandatory

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2018 German investment company ATON has increased its offer price to Murray & Roberts (M&R) shareholders to R17 a share from R15 previously and the family-owned group has also confirmed that it will convert its voluntary offer to a mandatory one. ATON’s announcement follows a two-day hearing of the... 

ATON ‘open to engage’ with M&R board as offers is made mandatory

M&R hopes to convince ATON of commercial merits of Aveng tie-up

By: Terence Creamer     18th May 2018 Murray & Roberts (M&R) CEO Henry Laas says he will make every effort to convince its largest shareholder ATON – the German family-owned business, which owns 39% of the company and which has made a firm offer to acquire majority control of the South African engineering and construction group – of... 

M&R hopes to convince ATON of commercial merits of Aveng tie-up
Photo by Creamer Media
M&R CEO Henry Laas

Africa’s air traffic liberalisation journey continues, after 30 difficult years

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th May 2018 In November 1988, the Ministers responsible for civil aviation in 40 African countries agreed a declaration on a new African air transport policy. This was immediately designated the Yamoussoukro Declaration, after the city in which it was adopted (the capital of Ivory Coast). Among other things,... 

Africa’s air traffic liberalisation journey continues, after 30 difficult years

Commission invites participation in public passenger transport market inquiry

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th May 2018 The Competition Commission will, from June to August, hold public hearings as part of its inquiry into the public passenger transport market and is inviting market participants, the public and other interested groups to take part.  

Electric cable association to pay penalty for price-fixing

By: Simone Liedtke     11th May 2018 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a settlement agreement with the Association of Electric Cable Manufacturers South Africa (AECMSA) relating to its involvement in fixing the selling price of electric power cables. Customers affected by the contravention were primarily State-owned Eskom, as... 

R11.6bn in fines and merger conditions secured since 2010, Patel reports

By: Terence Creamer     10th May 2018 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel reports that R11.6-billion has been mobilised as a result of cartel settlements and conditions placed on firms that have pursued mergers and acquisitions in South Africa since 2010, with commitments worth a further R11-bilion have been secured in... 

R11.6bn in fines and merger conditions secured since 2010, Patel reports
Photo by Creamer Media
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

NCS Resins faces R29m competition fine

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th May 2018 Unsaturated polyester resin manufacturer NCS Resins has agreed to pay a R29.7-million fine for alleged price-fixing and market division.  

South African farmers take AB InBev to competition watchdog

By: Reuters     7th May 2018 Farmers in South Africa have filed a complaint with the country's competition watchdog about Anheuser-Busch InBev's decision to change its pricing formula for buying malt barley, a key ingredient in beer making. The farmers lobby group Grain South Africa believes AB InBev, the world's biggest... 

Petroleum product suppliers settle information sharing complaint

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th May 2018 South African petroleum product suppliers have, under a settlement agreement with the Competition Tribunal, agreed to change how they share information.  

Mondi acquires two KwaZulu-Natal plantations

By: Simone Liedtke     20th April 2018 JSE-listed pulp and paper producer Mondi has acquired the Draycott and Greytown timber plantations, in KwaZulu-Natal, from World Hardwood. The Competition Tribunal on Thursday approved the transaction, after the Competition Commission determined that it was unlikely to substantially prevent or... 

Competition Commission wins international award

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th April 2018 The Competition Commission has won the Agency of the Year in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa award at the eighth annual Global Competition Review (GCR) Awards held in Washington DC, in the US.  

Commission’s LPG Market Inquiry recommendation yields positive outcomes

By: Simone Liedtke     12th April 2018 The Competition Commission has accepted the withdrawal of a complaint by propellants supplier Puregas against liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) manufacturer and supplier Shell Downstream for unfair business practices, after Puregas was able to secure a supply agreement on favourable terms.   In... 

Extreme inequality in South Africa is constraining growth and investment  

By: Terence Creamer     10th April 2018 New analysis by the World Bank has confirmed that South Africa’s is not only the world’s most unequal country, but that extreme inequality has become a major constraint to higher levels of economic growth, because it is undermining policy certainty and depressing investment. The bank’s latest... 

Extreme inequality in South Africa is constraining growth and investment
World Bank program leader Sebastien Dessus and country director Paul Noumba Um on the negative impact that extreme inequality in South Africa is having on growth and investment. Camera Work & Editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded: 10.4.2018

Motseng agrees to R200 000 penalty for bid rigging in fabric supply tenders

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th April 2018 The Competition Tribunal on Wednesday confirmed a consent agreement with Motseng Investment Holdings to pay a R200 000 penalty with its now-closed subsidiary Motseng Trading, for the subsidiary’s involvement in the bid rigging of tenders issued by the National Treasury and the Armaments... 

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