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Competition Policy News

Business calls for answers from fined construction companies

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th June 2013 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has called on the companies penalised by the Competition Commission for anticompetitive behaviour to reveal what action had been taken against those involved and what provisions were in place to prevent future collusion. Earlier this week, the Competition... 

Construction companies fined R1.46bn for collusion 

By: Natalie Greve     24th June 2013 The Competition Commission has fined 15 major construction firms a collective R1.46-billion for “rampant” collusive tendering related to projects concluded between 2006 and 2011, it revealed on Monday. These penalties were the result of the Construction Fast-Track Settlement Process, initiated by... 

Construction companies fined R1.46bn for collusion

Well-designed special economic zones hold jobs and investment potential

By: Nomvelo Buthelezi     21st June 2013 South Africa is moving to include special economic zones (SEZs) into its industrial and economic development toolbox in the hope that they will help stimulate fixed investment, partiularly investment that can contribute to the country’s reindustrialisation thrust.  

Well-designed special economic zones hold jobs and investment potential

ACSA to reissue taxi tender, forced to stimulate competition

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th June 2013 A Competition Tribunal-approved amended settlement agreement between the Competition Commission and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) would see the airport operator issue a new tender for taxi services from the OR Tambo International Airport and initiate more competition between taxi... 

Competition aims to stimulate innovative entrepreneurial concepts

By: Schalk Burger     7th June 2013 The Step-Up Technology Innovation Competition aims to secure several innovative ideas, processes, technologies and products, which will then be incubated and developed for commercial application, and will run until the end of September this year, says development support organisation Technology... 

Aveng subsidiary awaits penalty as Competition Commission mulls amount

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd June 2013 JSE-listed Aveng on Monday said its Aveng Africa subsidiary was awaiting the disclosure by the Competition Commission of the penalty to be levied against it, after it had entered into a settlement agreement with the commission. This followed the launch of a broad investigation in 2009 by the... 

Pharmaceuticals patents benefit R&D of medication

By: Anine Kilian     24th May 2013 Pharmaceutical companies in South Africa are granted patents, and thus a monopoly on the local market, to incentivise research and development (R&D) within the pharmaceutical field, and not to hike prices, as many people believe, says patent law firm Spoor & Fisher. Spoor & Fisher patent attorney... 

Africa must develop own programmers to reverse digital poverty 

By: Schalk Burger     24th May 2013 Software development and knowledge will be critical to the success of engineering, manufacturing, business and other key areas of economic competitiveness of countries. Africa must focus strongly on developing young software programmers and coders to enable its own development, says agile... 

Cartel projects valued at almost R50bn – Patel

By: Sapa     7th May 2013 The total value of rigged construction industry projects being investigated by the Competition Commission is much higher than expected at R47 billion, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Tuesday. Speaking in the National Assembly during debate on his budget vote, Patel said 300... 

Competition Commission to start private healthcare market inquiry

By: Sapa     7th May 2013 The Competition Commission (CC) will start a long-awaited market inquiry into pricing in the private healthcare sector in September, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel announced on Tuesday. Speaking during debate on his budget vote in the National Assembly, Patel told MPs it would be a... 

Construction cartels could learn fate in June

By: Sapa     23rd April 2013 Construction cartels could learn their fate as early as June, the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) told MPs on Tuesday. Briefing Parliament's public works committee, CIDB chairman Bafana Ndendwa said he was updated by the Competition Commission last week on a probe into the major... 

Aspen acquires Nestlé SA infant nutrition division for $215m 

By: Natalie Greve     18th April 2013 Aspen Group has acquired Nestlé South Africa’s infant nutrition businesses, which distribute a portfolio of infant nutrition products in Australia and certain Southern African territories, for $215-million. This came shortly after the Competition Tribunal earlier this year approved, with... 

Competition Tribunal gearing up for May polypropylene excessive-pricing hearing 

By: Terence Creamer     12th April 2013 The Competition Tribunal will begin hearings on May 13 into an excessive-pricing referral made by the Competition Commission in 2010 against Sasol regarding the sale of propylene and polypropylene to domestic plastic converters between 2004 and the end of 2007. It is understood that four weeks... 

Afgri, Senwes merger given Tribunal thumbs up

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th April 2013 The Competition Tribunal has given a conditional go-ahead for agriculture firms Afgri Operations and Senwes to merge their retail assets. The two firms will form a 50:50 joint venture (JV) combining their respective farming requisite retail stores, as well as Afgri wholesale subsidiary Partrite. 

The benefits and pitfalls of the Competition Commission’s new investigative powers

By: Samantha Herbst     12th April 2013 After languishing in limbo since August 2009, the Competition Amendment Act is in the spotlight again, following the promulgation of Section 6 of the Act, which grants the Competition Commission the power to conduct market inquiries without a formal complaint against a specific company. While... 

The benefits and pitfalls of the Competition Commission’s new investigative powers

By: Samantha Herbst     12th April 2013 After languishing in limbo since August 2009, the Competition Amendment Act is in the spotlight again, following the promulgation of Section 6 of the Act, which grants the Competition Commission the power to conduct market inquiries without a formal complaint against a specific company.  

Minister appoints two commissioners

By: Sapa     25th March 2013 Two deputy commissioners have been appointed to serve six month terms on the Competition Commission, the economic development department said on Monday. "The two new deputy commissioners are advocate Oliver Josie and Trudi Makhaya," it said in a statement. 

Competition Tribunal confirms settlement agreements

By: Natalie Greve     22nd March 2013 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed two settlement agreements; one between the Competition Commission and Air Products South Africa and the other between the commission and MVA Bricks. As part of the settlement agreement, in February, Air Products South Africa agreed to pay an administrative... 

Commission to proceed with private healthcare market inquiry

By: Samantha Herbst     13th March 2013 The Competition Commission confirmed on Wednesday that it would proceed with a market inquiry into the private healthcare sector amid concerns about pricing, costs and the state of competition and innovation in private healthcare. Manager of the commission’s advocacy and stakeholder relations... 

Air Products SA agrees to R2.76m administrative penalty

By: Creamer Media Reporter      28th February 2013 Industrial and speciality gas manufacturer and supplier Air Products South Africa has agreed to pay an administrative penalty of about R2.76-million to South Africa’s competition authorities. This was part of a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission, in terms of which Air Products... 

Socialism leads to poor investments that deprive citizens of services – Maltsev  

By: Schalk Burger     1st February 2013 Socialism leads to poor investment of public funds, depriving the most vulnerable people of valuable services, says US Carthage College Professor Yuri Maltsev, who was also one of a team of Soviet economists that worked on President Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika reform packages. A private... 

Proposed empowerment policy could worsen corruption, warns financial services firm

By: Natalie Greve     28th January 2013 The implementation of a proposed law to ensure that a minimum of 30% of public- and private-sector procurement spend is awarded to black businesses would discourage competitive behaviour and exacerbate corruption, financial services firm Lion of Africa Insurance CEO Adam Samie has said. 

Industrial automation company approaches competition authorities for relief

By: Schalk Burger     25th January 2013 A local industrial automation company alleges that two larger companies, which supply it with business-critical products, acting in concert have refused to provide it with the necessary products in an attempt to eliminate it as competition and take over its customers and market share. Local... 

Glencore, Xstrata merger given SA nod with jobs condition

By: Terence Creamer     22nd January 2013 South Africa’s Competition Tribunal has approved the implementation of the $33-billion merger between Glencore and Xstrata, subject to a condition limiting post-merger retrenchments. The merger was notified to competition authorities in multiple jurisdictions after it was unveiled last year,... 

Lack of spectrum, high prices affecting broadband access

By: Schalk Burger     14th December 2012 A lack of spectrum allocation means that many mobile network operators had to ‘refarm’ their spectrum of frequencies to supply the increasing demand for broadband, said mobile operator Vodacom group CEO Shameel Joosub at a Gordon Institute of Business Science seminar, in November. Vodacom’s... 

Foodcorp fined R88.5m for collusion 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th December 2012 South African food manufacturer Foodcorp has been fined an administrative penalty of R88.5-million, or 10% of the affected turnover of its 2010 milling division, the Competition Commission reported on Thursday. The commission has reached a settlement with the company in two separate cartel cases... 

October says industrialisation requires back-to-basics approach

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th December 2012 Africa’s regional economic integration could be achieved through industrialisation, but a “back-to-basics” approach was required, particularly for South Africa, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) director-general Lionel October said. He said that Africa’s underdevelopment was partly owing to... 

Competition Commission seeks maximum penalty as probe unearths diesel price fixing 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     24th October 2012 The Competition Commission has referred a case of alleged price fixing and market division in the supply of diesel to the Competition Tribunal for adjudication and has called for the maximum penalties to be imposed on Chevron South Africa, Engen, Shell South Africa, Total South Africa, Sasol and... 

Greater collaboration urged as SA moves towards multiparticipant power market

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2012 Effective collaboration in the energy and electricity sector, between independent power producers and government, is necessary to overcome hurdles in the sector, says legal firm Werksmans Attorneys director Greg Nott. 

Lack of infrastructure, regulation hampering SA’s data industry

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2012 There is an explosion of data across telecommunications networks in private and business environments, which is expected to continue, says Internet protocol communications company Internet Solutions product strategy head Brian Pinnock. 

Telkom to appeal R449m fine

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th August 2012 Telecommunications group Telkom on Thursday reported that it had moved to have a Competition Tribunal-imposed fine of R449-million set aside. Earlier this month, the tribunal slapped Telkom with the fine after finding the JSE-listed group guilty of charging excessive prices and engaging in... 

CIC, Jindal merger receives competition approval

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th August 2012 The Botswana Competition Authority has approved the proposed acquisition of TSX-listed CIC Energy by India-based Jindal Steel and Power. CIC Energy, which would be merged with Jindal Steel & Power subsidiary Jindal BVI, also secured shareholder approval for the C$116-million transaction. 

Emerging economies will need creativity to navigate the vagaries of the ‘new normal’

By: Schalk Burger     24th August 2012 The current global financial environment may be the typical financial environment that companies will have to learn to navigate, say market consultancy Frontier Advisory director Abdullah Verachia and senior associate Katherine Tweedie. 

Zambian court ruling generates questions around trademark protection

     10th August 2012 A Zambian Supreme Court ruling in April, which does away with trademark protection that companies operating in Zambia have relied on, could have a ripple effect in other African jurisdictions. 

NRCS finds no evidence of substandard cement imports

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th August 2012 The National Regulator for Compulsory Standards (NRCS) has found no evidence of substandard cement imported into the South African market, said acting CEO and GM Thomas Madzivhe on Tuesday. Speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria, he stated that, despite complaints by a local cement producer... 

Court dismisses appeal against Omnia, Yara

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     28th June 2012 The Constitutional Court this week dismissed a direct appeal by the Competition Commission against a decision by the Competition Appeal Court in a ten-year cartel complaint of collusion against fertiliser producers and Omnia Fertiliser and Yara South Africa. Costs were awarded to Omnia and... 

Govt, IDC launch single point for incentives information  

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th June 2012 Government and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on Tuesday launched an online portal to provide local businesses access to information and assistance on government incentives. The portal would supply businesses “all the information they need on what is out there to help them sharpen... 

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