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Competition Policy News

CompComm publishes admin penalties guidelines for public comment

By: Natalie Greve     10th December 2014 Following engagements with several stakeholders which stressed the need for the development of rules governing administrative penalties, the Competition Commission has published for public comment draft guidelines for the determination of administrative penalties for prohibited practices.  The... 

New book provides comprehensive guide to South Africa’s IP law

By: Sashnee Moodley     5th December 2014 Specialist intellectual property (IP) law firm Spoor & Fisher in collaboration with the Anton Mostert Chair of IP at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, launched its new IP textbook, titled Dean & Dyer: Introduction to Intellectual Property Law, in Pretoria last month. 

Cable company to pay R80m for collusion

By: Sapa     4th December 2014 Electric cable manufacturing company ATC has agreed to pay R80.7-million in an agreement with the Competition Commission after admitting to collusion, the Competition Tribunal said on Wednesday. The settlement agreement was confirmed as an order of the tribunal on Wednesday, spokesperson Nandi... 

Cable company to pay R80m for collusion

SA R&D expenditure not yet on target  

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd December 2014 While South Africa improved its spending on research and development (R&D) during 2012/13 and halted the “worrying” contractions experienced in 2009/10 and 2010/11, the nation had failed to achieve its years-long target of spending 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) on R&D. With the release of... 

SA R&D expenditure not yet on target
Science & Technology Minister Naledi Pandor discusses South Africa's spending on research and development. Recorded: 04.12.14. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Videoediting: Shane Williams.

Competition Commission refers another alleged collusion case to the tribunal

20th November 2014 The Competition Commission would refer a case against Isipani Construction to the Competition Tribunal for its alleged involvement in collusive tendering for the building of the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadia. This followed an investigation of the firms that did not participate in the Construction... 

Competition Commission refers another alleged collusion case to the tribunal

Commission grants Aberdare Cables immunity from prosecution

By: Natalie Greve     14th November 2014 Power Technologies subsidiary Aberdare Cables has, in accordance with the Competition Commission’s corporate leniency policy, applied for leniency and been granted conditional immunity against prosecution by the Competition Tribunal in respect of a commission investigation into certain alleged... 

Commission grants Aberdare Cables immunity from prosecution

South Africa begins waking up to the economic potential of waste recycling

By: Schalk Burger     14th November 2014 South Africa lost an estimated R17-billion worth of resources through disposal of waste to landfill in 2012, while the effects of resource scarcity and resource constraints are increasing globally. However, the value to the economy of additional recycling or recovery – including the avoided... 

South Africa begins waking up to the economic potential of waste recycling

Metair assures shareholders it has no connection to collusion investigation

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th October 2014 JSE-listed Metair Investments on Monday assured shareholders that no member of its group had been implicated or listed in connection with the Competition Commission’s investigation into alleged collusion within the South African automotive component industry. The commission this month said it... 

Commission eyes reopening of supermarkets investigation

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th October 2014 The Competition Commission was mulling the reopening of an investigation into exclusivity clauses placed within long-term lease agreements between owners of large retail shopping centres and retail anchor tenants across the country after complaints from commercial property owners. The South... 

Commission eyes reopening of supermarkets investigation

Patel appoints acting Competition Commission deputies

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th October 2014 Two acting deputy commissioners for the Competition Commission have been appointed for a six-month term starting October 1, as a process for permanent appointments for these roles continued. Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel reappointed Advocate Oliver Josie, who had been serving as... 

Patel appoints acting Competition Commission deputies

Govt mulls boosting divestiture, pricing powers of competition bodies 

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2014 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has hinted to further amendments to South Africa’s Competition Act – changes that could increase the powers of the competition authorities to influence the industrial structure of the economy through forced divestiture and pricing remedies. Addressing... 

Govt mulls boosting divestiture, pricing powers of competition bodies
Photo by Duane Daws
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

Competition Commission sets new date for LPG market inquiry 

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th August 2014 The Competition Commission planned to deliver the results of a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) market inquiry by March 2016 – six months later than anticipated. The market inquiry, which would now kick off on September 15, had initially been scheduled to start in June and conclude by October 2015. 

Competition Commission sets new date for LPG market inquiry

European court cuts Sasol wax cartel fine

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th July 2014 The European General Court has more than halved a 2008 fine incurred by Sasol Wax for its involvement in the European paraffin wax cartel. Sasol Wax’s penalty of €318.2-million, said at the time to be the biggest fine imposed on a South African company, was reduced by €168.22-million to... 

European court cuts Sasol wax cartel fine

Supplier development strategy spurs creation of new maize miller

By: Schalk Burger     11th July 2014 Financial services firm Barclays Africa local subsidiary Absa provided a R8.2-million loan and South African retail giant Massmart provided a 10 000 t-a-year offtake agreement that enabled a new maize miller to enter the South African market. The new miller, Lethabo Milling, will provide 830 t of... 

Poultry association welcomes antidumping duties against EU countries

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th July 2014 The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) has welcomed antidumping action taken by the International Trade and Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) against European Union (EU) countries found dumping poultry products in South Africa. Preliminary antidumping duties were instituted... 

Poultry association welcomes antidumping duties against EU countries

Intellectual property specialist calls for copyright law amendment

By: Schalk Burger     6th June 2014 As intellectual property (IP) is increasingly becoming the basis of modern economies, with many tangible benefits of ideas and developments no longer directly linked to physical products, South Africa’s copyright law needs to be amended to provide improved protection for innovators, says legal... 

Construction industry, government in bid to mend ‘catastrophically’ damaged relations 

By: Terence Creamer     9th April 2014 A formal process has been initiated in an effort to rebuild trust that had been “catastrophically” destroyed between government and the construction industry in the wake of revelations of widespread collusion, Murray & Roberts (M&R) CEO Henry Laas has revealed. He said it would be premature to... 

Construction industry, government in bid to mend ‘catastrophically’ damaged relations
Photo by Duane Daws
Murray & Roberts CEO Henry Laas

Commission unearths power-cable collusion, refers case to tribunal

By: Terence Creamer     19th March 2014 A Competition Commission investigation, initiated in 2010 into power cables companies, has unearthed cartel conduct by four firms and its findings have been referred to Competition Tribunal for adjudication. The probe, which included a May 6, 2010, search-and-seizure operation, concluded that... 

Commission unearths power-cable collusion, refers case to tribunal
Photo by Duane Daws
Meetings were often held when there were significant input price changes

50% termination rates cut seen lowering retail prices 

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2014 The 50% reduction in the mobile termination rates between telecommunications firms to 20c a minute will promote increased competition in the rest of the industry, which could help to lower retail prices and increase access to services, says Internet services firm Internet Solutions cloud and... 

Commission approves R1bn sale of Modderfontein property to Chinese investor

By: Natalie Greve     28th January 2014 The Competition Commission has, with conditions, approved the sale of explosives and chemicals company AECI’s vacant land in Modderfontein to Chinese diversified property development company Shanghai Zendai Property. The transaction involved the acquisition of about 1 600 ha of land and the... 

Commission approves R1bn sale of Modderfontein property to Chinese investor

Competition Commission ushers in new execs

By: Natalie Greve     13th January 2014 The Competition Commission has appointed Liberty Mncube chief economist and manager of the policy and research division, Junior Khumalo divisional manager of enforcement and exemptions and Thomas Kgokolo CFO, effective January 1, it announced on Monday. Most recently a principal investigator in... 

Competition Commission ushers in new execs
Incoming Competition Commission chief economist Liberty Mncube

Tribunal to consider Nestlé, Aspen deal

By: Natalie Greve     5th December 2013 The Competition Tribunal is next week set to hear a case relating to the proposed acquisition of Pfizer Nutrition’s baby milk range of products by Aspen Nutritionals and will hear testimony from 17 witnesses, as well as a representative of the Competition Commission, on the possible impact of... 

Tribunal to consider Nestlé, Aspen deal

Health inquiry terms of reference gazetted

By: Sapa     29th November 2013 The Competition Commission has gazetted the terms of reference for the market inquiry into private healthcare, it said on Friday. This was in accordance with the provisions of the Competition Act, which state that an inquiry can start 20 business days after gazetting. 

Health inquiry terms of reference gazetted

Discrepancies in tendering process putting construction industry at risk

By: Zandile Mavuso     15th November 2013 The current emphasis on the procurement of consulting engineering services, based on the lowest price offered by the competing firms, has put the sustainability of the consulting engineering industry at risk, says international consulting engineering firm WSP Consulting. 

Discrepancies in tendering process putting construction industry at risk
QUALITY INFRASTRUCTURE WSP Consulting’s involvement with the Green Buildings Council, provides the firm with the opportunity to shape the industry in terms of setting benchmarks for good practice

Transformation in industry reliant on credible data

By: Zandile Mavuso     15th November 2013 The Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) believes that, to transform the construction sector, reliable data is necessary to assess the progress of and identify the barriers to transformation and to determine strategies to resolve these. 

PICC plan could yield long-term investments for public and private sectors

By: Zandile Mavuso     15th November 2013 The mandate of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) to develop a 20-year pipeline of infrastructure and construction projects allows for long-term planning and investment by public- and private-sector companies. 

Competition Tribunal looking beyond fines to deal with transgressors

By: Terence Creamer     11th November 2013 South Africa’s Competition Tribunal reports that it will increasingly explore “creative remedies” for contraventions of the Competition Act in an effort to demonstrate more immediate and tangible market benefits as a result of determinations, or settlement agreements. Hitherto, remedies have... 

Competition Tribunal looking beyond fines to deal with transgressors
Competition Tribunal chairperson Norman Manoim

Patel appoints acting competition commissioner

By: Sapa     21st October 2013 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel appointed Thembinkosi Bonakele as the new acting competition commissioner on Sunday, the department said. Spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said Bonakele was appointed with effect from October 21, for a period of six month. 

Competition Tribunal dismisses claims of anticompetitive, racist conduct

By: Natalie Greve     19th September 2013 The Competition Tribunal on Tursday dismissed an application by Advocate Simba Chitando for relief against what he called racist and anticompetitive briefing patterns by fellow advocates and law firms operating in the area of shipping law. The tribunal found that Chitando had not satisfied the... 

Competition Tribunal dismisses claims of anticompetitive, racist conduct

SA’s antimonopoly effectiveness ranking encouraging – CompComm

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th September 2013 The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2013/14’s top-ten ranking for the effectiveness of South Africa’s antimonopoly policy, was encouraging, the Competition Commission said on Tuesday. South Africa had ranked at number eight, out of 148 countries, ahead of Puerto Rico,... 

SA’s antimonopoly effectiveness ranking encouraging – CompComm

Protection of Personal Information Bill may have data-management spin-offs

By: Schalk Burger     23rd August 2013 The pending Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Bill will enable more trade and information flows with other countries that have privacy laws, as well as provide businesses with opportunities to reduce the costs of storing unnecessary data, says advisory firm Deloitte legal director Dean... 

Stefanutti to buy First Strut subsidiary Energotec

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th August 2013 Construction firm Stefanutti Stocks has received Competition Tribunal approval, in a record four hours, for the acquisition of one of beleaguered First Strut’s subsidiaries. Engineering firm Energotec would be merged into Stefanutti, saving over 660 jobs and ensuring the “continuous supply of... 

Stefanutti to buy First Strut subsidiary Energotec

Tribunal to hear more construction collusion cases this week

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th August 2013 The Competition Tribunal was expected to hear the settlement cases of JSE-listed construction firms Stefanutti Stocks and Hochtief Construction this week after the parties admitted to collusive behaviour and agreed to further penalties. Stefanutti was, in June, given a R306.89-million fine after... 

Tribunal to hear more construction collusion cases this week

Global antigraft bodies increasingly sharing information on firms operating in multiple jurisdictions 

By: Schalk Burger     9th August 2013 Anticorruption agencies in the US, the UK, the European Union (EU) and South Africa increasingly share information to scrutinise the business ethics and anticorruption practices of companies operating in multiple jurisdictions, says law firm Norton Rose Fulbright Washington D.C. regulatory and... 

Global antigraft bodies increasingly sharing information on firms operating in multiple jurisdictions
Norton Rose Fullbright business ethics specialists Richard Smith, Sam Eastwood and Andre Vos Discuss business ethics and anticurruption legislation in the US, the UK and South Africa. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Shane Williams.

Stefanutti to pay additional R54m Competition Commission penalty

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st July 2013 JSE-listed construction firm Stefanutti Stocks this week agreed to pay a further R55.8-million penalty to the Competition Commission. The latest fine was for contracts that had fallen outside the Construction Fast-Track Settlement Process, which was initiated by the Competition Commission in 2011... 

Cesa moves on first graft case as it sharpens corruption-busting tools 

By: Terence Creamer     30th July 2013 Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa), which represents more than 450 member firms, is moving ahead with its first anticorruption case, having established a so-called ‘war chest’ in 2012 to enable it to take legal action in instances where corruption is suspected. The organisation is not yet... 

Cesa moves on first graft case as it sharpens corruption-busting tools
Newly appointed Cesa CEO Lefadi Makibinyane on the role the organisation is playing in fighting corruption and collusion. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Shane Williams. Recorded: 30.7.2013.

Tribunal confirms Aveng, Guiricich settlements

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     23rd July 2013 The Competition Tribunal on Wednesday confirmed the last of the settlement agreements between the Competition Commission and 15 major construction firms which had admitted to collusive tendering in contravention of the Competition Act. This came as the tribunal confirmed the R306.58-million... 

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