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Competition Policy News

Tribunal confirms Plasser’s R8.43m settlement with Competition Commission

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed an R8.43-million settlement agreement between railway construction and maintenance company Plasser South Africa and the Competition Commission.    On February 2014, the commission initiated a complaint against Lennings DEC Rail, a subsidiary of Aveng Africa,... 

Tribunal approves sale of Genrec to Southern Palace

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved Southern Palace Group’s (SPG’s) acquisition of Genrec from Murray & Roberts (M&R). M&R in October last year agreed to sell Genrec to SPG for R185-million. 

Tribunal conditionally approves Timrite’s acquisition of mining support bag manufacturer

     21st February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved, with conditions, mining support product supplier Timrite’s acquisition of Tufbag’s Mining Bag division. Tufbag’s Mining Bag division and Timrite design and manufacture polypropylene-based mining support (PBMS) bags.   Concerns were raised by the Competition... 

Tribunal approves Barnes Southern Palace's acquisition of Scaw

By: Simone Liedtke     19th February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has conditionally approved the transaction, in terms of which holding company Barnes Southern Palace plans to acquire Scaw South Africa from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). To address information sharing concerns, the transaction was approved subject to a... 

Commission recommends tribunal approve Southern Palace Group's Genrec buy

By: Simone Liedtke     19th February 2018 The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that Southern Palace Group's (SPG's) proposed acquisition of steel fabrication and manufacturing business Genrec Engineering, from construction and engineering company Murray and Roberts, be approved without conditions. SPG,... 

Cryptocurrencies speculative, but blockchain can bring positive disruption – S&P’s

By: Schalk Burger     19th February 2018 Global ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P’s) currently views cryptocurrencies as speculative instruments that will have an “insignificant effect on global financial stability if its value were to collapse”, but that blockchain – a shared digital transaction ledger – presents an opportunity... 

Media companies fined for price-fixing

By: Simone Liedtke     16th February 2018 Two print media companies have concluded consent agreements with the Competition Commission and agreed to pay fines amounting to millions of rands after admitting to participating in price fixing and the fixing of trading conditions in contravention of the Competition Act. The two separate... 

Tribunal approves amendment to payment terms of AMSA’s R1.5bn settlement agreement

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved a variation agreement allowing ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) to pay the first R300-million instalment of its R1.5-billion fine in three tranches.   In late 2016, AMSA concluded a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission in terms of which it... 

Commission seeks penalty against SA Airlink for alleged predatory pricing

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th February 2018 The Competition Commission has referred regional feeder airline SA Airlink to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on charges of alleged excessive and predatory pricing. The commission initiated an investigation into SA Airlink’s conduct with regard to the Johannesburg–Mthatha route after... 

Competition Tribunal dismisses Massmart complaint

By: Anine Kilian     13th February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has dismissed a complaint by Walmart-owned Massmart that exclusivity agreements between other retailers and landlords are excluding its Game stores from selling fresh grocery products. The Tribunal, for a second time, on Tuesday upheld arguments made by Shoprite Checkers,... 

AfriBusiness believes new competition legislation will harm large businesses

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th February 2018 The proposed Competition Amendment Bill will transform South Africa's competition authorities into instruments for black economic empowerment (BEE), argues business lobby AfriBusiness. CEO Piet le Roux said the Amendment Bill was "explicitly crafted with transformation in mind. It significantly... 

Tribunal to consider Sinopec's $900m deal to acquire 75% of Chevron South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     7th February 2018 The Competition Tribunal will, on Thursday, consider the proposed $900-million buyout by China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) subsidiary SOIHL HK of a 75% interest in Chevron South Africa (CSA). Sinopec is a significant Chinese manufacturer and supplier of petroleum and... 

Competition Commission exposes alleged collusion in R4.5bn Eskom tender

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th February 2018 A Competition Commission investigation has found evidence of alleged price fixing and collusive tendering, involving an Eskom tender worth R4.5-billion, on the part of Waco Africa, acting through its division SGB Cape, as well as Tedoc Industries, Mtsweni Corrosion Control and Superfecta Trading.... 

Plasser agrees to pay R8.4m penalty for collusion

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th February 2018 Railway construction and maintenance company Plasser South Africa has agreed to pay R8.4-million in a settlement penalty after admitting to partaking in collusion. The Competition Commission on Tuesday said it reached a settlement agreement with the company, which provides railway line track... 

Commission recommends conditional Barnes Southern Palace, Scaw merger approval

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th January 2018 The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed transaction, with conditions, whereby Barnes Southern Palace intends to acquire steel maker Scaw from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Barnes Southern Palace is a consortium involving the... 

Unitrans, Action Ford deal gets competition authority thumbs up

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th January 2018 The Competition Tribunal has conditionally approved a merger whereby Unitrans Automotive, wholly-owned by Steinhoff International Holdings, acquires Action Ford's vehicle dealership business. The merging parties have given an undertaking that there will be no retrenchments for a period of two... 

Tribunal refuses to confirm consent agreement between commission, ammonia producers

By: Anine Kilian     29th January 2018 The Competition Tribunal has refused to confirm a consent agreement entered into between the Competition Commission and AECI, Foskor, Omnia Fertilizers and Sasol South Africa, on the basis of irrationality. The respondents are equal partners in an ammonia terminal facility, the RAMM facility, in... 

Woodlands Dairy, Fairfield Dairy merger conditionally approved

By: Anine Kilian     26th January 2018 The Competition Tribunal has conditionally approved a merger between Gutsche Family Investments, which controls Woodlands Dairy, and Fairfield Dairy. The companies manufacture and supply butter, cheese, cream, flavoured milk, Amasi and raw milk nationally.   The merging parties intend for the... 

DTI denies ‘rivalry’ with EDD over amendments to Competition Act

By: Terence Creamer     25th January 2018 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has denied reports of rivalry with the Economic Development Department over proposed amendments to the Competition Act, which its claims to support. In a statement released on Thursday, the department underlined its concern over the “excessive... 

DTI denies ‘rivalry’ with EDD over amendments to Competition Act

CompCom suspends advisory opinion services pending outcome of court case

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd January 2018 The Competition Commission has suspended its advisory opinion services pending the finalisation of the case against Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI). This follows a Competition Appeal Court (CAC) judgment ruling against the regulator on the matter. In August last year, HCI request the... 

Concerns raised over lack of policy framework for competition law changes 

By: Terence Creamer     19th January 2018 Concern has been expressed about the absence of a comprehensive competition policy framework to help guide proposed amendments to competition legislation and facilitate greater alignment with other government policies and programmes, such as the Industrial Policy Action Plan. In December,... 

Concerns raised over lack of policy framework for competition law changes
Wits Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management Dean Imraan Valodia, CCRED director Simon Roberts, Genesis Analytics’ James Hodge, DTI’s Garth Strachan, Advocate Michelle le Roux and the Competition Commission’s Liberty Mncube on proposed changes to the South Africa’s Competition Act and the lack of an overarching policy framework. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling. Recorded: 19.1.2018

Tribunal approves JV between three international shipping companies

By: Anine Kilian     17th January 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved, with conditions, the intermediate merger whereby Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (KL) intend to merge their container liner shipping businesses to form a joint venture (JV) in the shipping market. NYK,... 

Construction industry making progress with deals to transform the sector

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th January 2018 In a move that will see local construction companies further honour their agreements with government to ensure  inclusivity for black contractors in the South African construction sector, the Competition Commission has recommended a number of merger deals to the Competition Tribunal for approval.... 

Construction industry making progress with deals to transform the sector

ArcelorMittal, Competition Commission reach payment agreement

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th December 2017 Local steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has reached an agreement with the Competition Commission to divide its 2017 payment into three separate tranches of R100-million each. In 2016, the parties reached a settlement agreement after AMSA admitted to being involved in the long... 

Tribunal approves mergers involving seed, wheat milling companies

By: Anine Kilian     4th December 2017 The Competition Tribunal has approved the acquisition of seed and wheat milling companies Progress Milling and Noordfed by holding company K2014202010, a joint venture between Louis Dreyfus Company Africa (LDCA) and DH Brothers Industries Willowton.     The tribunal approved the transactions... 

Competition Amendment Bill moves to give teeth to market inquiry instrument

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2017 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel released the Competition Amendment Bill for public comment on Friday, indicating that he expects the proposed legislation to be placed before lawmakers during the first half of 2018. The amendments, which were drafted with the assistance of an expert... 

Competition Amendment Bill moves to give teeth to market inquiry instrument
Photo by Duane Daws
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

SA lacking global competitiveness

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th November 2017 Local legislation, including stringent policy frameworks, continues to prove cumbersome for the South African construction sector, particularly owing to the necessity to conduct socioeconomic- and environmental-impact assessments, as well as obtain approval from the respective government... 

SA lacking global competitiveness
SOCIOECONOMIC BENEFITS Authorities would do well to accelerate the pace of affordable housing delivery, such as Reconstruction and Development Programme housing

Upcoming competition law amendments to focus on economic concentration

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2017 The chairperson of the Ministerial advisory panel set up to propose ways of strengthening the Competition Act to deal with “persistently high levels of economic concentration” in the South African economy says the draft legislation should be released for public comment during November. Addressing... 

Upcoming competition law amendments to focus on economic concentration
Photo by Duane Daws
Competition Appeal Court Judge President Dennis Davis

Tribunal confirms R4.35m settlement with Godrich Flour Mills

By: Anine Kilian     31st October 2017 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a settlement agreement with Godrich Flour Mills for price fixing in the market for milled white maize products. Godrich has agreed to pay R4.35-million for participating in a cartel that colluded with other maize milling firms to fix the price of milled... 

Sub-Saharan Africa sets another record for number of business reforms

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st October 2017 Sub-Saharan African countries have set a new record, for the second consecutive year, for the number of business reforms undertaken during 2016/17, a new World Bank report shows. The ‘Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs’ report, now in its fifteenth year, reported that 83 business... 

Sub-Saharan Africa sets another record for number of business reforms

Sasol mitigates material matters issues in 2017

     27th October 2017 To mitigate material matters that could substantially affect its ability to create value in the short, medium or long term, as a result of not being able to execute its strategy and the impact thereof on its ability to stay competitive, petrochemicals giant Sasol has outlined a five-step process... 

Sasol mitigates material matters issues in 2017
MANAGING MATTERS Sasol reviews and monitors material matters through stakeholder inclusiveness always keeping a sustainability context in mind

Fresh produce market agents, association referred to Competition Tribunal for prosecution

By: Schalk Burger     11th October 2017 Fourteen fresh produce market agents and association, the Institute for Market Agents of South Africa, have been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution in relation to charges of alleged price-fixing and fixing trading conditions in contravention of the Competition Act, the... 

Radical? Really?

By: Keith Campbell     29th September 2017 Roughly in the middle of this month (September), speaking on the sidelines of the Annual General Meeting of his luxury goods businesses holding company, Switzerland-based Compagnie Financière Richemont, in Geneva, businessman Johann Rupert, generally regarded as South Africa’s richest man, said... 

Competition Commission welcomes merger filing fees increase, new merger threshold determination

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th September 2017 The Competition Commission on Monday lauded the planned increase in merger filing fees for intermediate and large mergers, as well as the new determination of merger thresholds, both effective October 1. This followed Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel’s gazetting of the amendments to... 

Commission refers case of division of markets against Beefcor, CFP to tribunal

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th September 2017 The Competition Commission has referred a division of markets case against Beefcor and Cape Fruit Processors (CFP) to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution. It is alleged that the two companies had agreed not to compete with each other in the processing of wet peels and citrus peel pulp, which... 

Furniture removal companies face price-fixing charges over e-toll levy 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th September 2017 Eleven furniture removal companies and the movers’ association to which they belong face prosecution by the Competition Tribunal for alleged price fixing, involving the e-tolls levy they charge customers who transport belongings on Gauteng highways.   The accused are Northern Provinces... 

Second international car shipping company faces prosecution by tribunal 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th September 2017 Norwegian car shipping company Hoegh Autoliners has been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on seven charges relating to alleged collusive tendering, price fixing and market division.   The charges stem from a probe into alleged widespread anticompetitive conduct in the market... 

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