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Competition Policy News

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... 

SA’s Competition Commission downgraded in global survey

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     1st June 2012 South Africa’s Competition Commission has fallen to three stars in the Global Competition Review’s 11th yearly survey from three-and-a-half last year, owing to a number of defeats in the courts and concerns about its independence. The survey, which was made public on Friday, tracked the... 

Pharmaceuticals giants go head-to-head for intellectual property rights

By: Samantha Herbst     25th May 2012 The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), last month, ruled in favour of pharmaceutical giant Adcock Ingram over a trademark dispute with competitor Cipla Medpro. 

Oceana fined R34.75m for price fixing

     9th May 2012 The Competition Commission has concluded a settlement with the Oceana Group and Oceana Brands, collectively know as Oceana, regarding a number of price fixing and market allocation contraventions within the pelagic fish industry. The commission said in a statement on Wednesday that Oceana had... 

RMS, Vulcania fined in mesh wire cartel case

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th May 2012 The Competition Tribunal has ordered Reinforcing Mesh Solutions (RMS) and Vulcania Reinforcing to pay penalties of R21.6-million and R5.6-million respectively for price-fixing and customer allocation. The Competition Commission said on Tuesday it initiated an investigation in 2008, when BRC Mesh... 

Businesses urged to proactively familiarise themselves with consumer law

By: Schalk Burger     4th May 2012 Businesses in South Africa must proactively familiarise themselves with the Consumer Protection Act to limit their risks to consumer rights and must also understand that the Act is not one-sided and provides them with a number of substantial rights as well as responsibilities, says business legal... 

FDI into Africa seen growing as investor confidence improves

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd May 2012 The perception of Africa as an attractive investment destination was expected to improve over the next three years, a survey by advisory services company Ernst & Young (E&Y) has found. In its ‘Building bridges: the 2012 Africa attractiveness report', E&Y stated that 73% of the respondents said... 

Ban Ki-moon appoints PIC’s Masilela to UNGC board

     23rd April 2012 United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has appointed the CEO of South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) board. Elias Masilela would be expected, besides others, to serve as a champion of the UNGC and its missions for a period of three... 

Cement institute told to delay sales figures 

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th April 2012 The Competition Commission has ordered the South African Cement and Concrete Institute (C&CI) to only disseminate cementitious sales as a national, quarterly figure with a three-month delay, rather than monthly statistics. The commission issued a directive on Tuesday prohibiting all cement... 

DTI defends steel exclusion from preferential procurement plans

By: Henry Lazenby     4th April 2012 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday defended its decision to exclude certain steel products from the government’s preferential procurement regulations, which came into effect in December. Government designated sectors such as rolling stock and power pylons for local... 

Water Affairs wants suppliers to register 

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd April 2012 The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) said on Monday that it was in the process of updating its supplier database to allow potential suppliers equal opportunities. To this end, the DWA requested all suppliers of goods and services to register on the department’s database by April 20 to ensure... 

Mittal, Highveld face collusion charges

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd April 2012 The Competition Commission on Monday said it had referred a case of collusion against steel producers ArcelorMittal South Africa (Mittal) and Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium (Highveld) to the Competition Tribunal for adjudication. The charges related to price fixing and market allocation with... 

SAA, Singapore Airlines fined for price fixing  

By: Henry Lazenby     26th March 2012 The Competition Commission has fined South African Airways (SAA) R18.8-million and Singapore Airlines R25.1-million for fixing prices of certain flights between Johannesburg and Hong Kong. The Competition Commission initiated the investigation on January 16, 2008, following Cathay Pacific’s... 

Lion Match ordered to revise Beige comparable offer

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd March 2012 The Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) this week ordered Lion Match to make a revised offer to Beige Holdings’ preference shareholders, after it ruled that the R1.28 a share offer was not comparable. But despite the ruling, Lion Match posted its circular to shareholders on Monday, containing a... 

Competition body clears PPC’s Pronto acquisition

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     19th March 2012 The Competition Commission has unconditionally approved Pretoria Portland Cement’s (PPC’s) R280-million acquisition of Gauteng-based Pronto Holdings, Through the acquisition, which was announced in November, PPC would become a supplier to the Gauteng markets for ready mix concrete and fly ash.  

Lafarge pays R149m fine to settle cement cartel case

By: Henry Lazenby     8th March 2012 The Competition Commission on Thursday reached a settlement with Lafarge Industries South Africa in which the cement producer admitted that it took part in the cement cartel. Lafarge agreed to pay a penalty of R148.72-million, which represented 6% of its 2010 turnover in the Southern African... 

Engen, Shell agree to pay penalties in bitumen cartel case 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     21st February 2012 The Competition Commission has reached settlement agreements with oil companies Engen Petroleum and Shell South Africa Marketing after they admitted to having fixed the price of bitumen. Engen agreed to pay a penalty of R28.8-million an 

Engineers back govt’s ‘integrity pact’ idea 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th February 2012 Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) said on Monday that it fully supported a proposal by Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel that companies doing business with government sign an ‘integrity pact’ in which they promised to behave ethically and refrain from anticompetitive practices.... 

Tribunal gives Actom, Savcio deal conditional thumbs up

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th February 2012 The Competition Tribunal on Monday approved, with conditions, a merger between electrical equipment manufacturer Actom and electrical service, repair and import company Savcio. The tribunal supported the Competition Commission’s proposed stipulation that, following the merger, Actom should... 

Transnet unit raises price, supply concerns at Actom-Savcio hearings

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th February 2012 The Competition Commission told a Competition Tribunal hearing on Tuesday that it stood by its initial conditions on the proposed merger of electrical equipment manufacturer Actom and electrical service, repair and import company Savcio. The hearings were postponed last month to allow Transnet... 

Commission’s cement data restrictions questioned

     3rd February 2012 Construction development company Business & Marketing Intelligence (BMI) Building Strategy Research Unit principal consultant Dr Llewellyn Lewis has called on the Competition Commission to reverse its decision to prohibit the centralised publication of cement use statistics. 

Senior management commit 36% of internal economic crimes in SA

By: Schalk Burger     20th January 2012 The prevalence of internal economic crimes committed by senior management in companies in South Africa has risen to 36% from 17% in 2009, reflecting these crimes’ requirements of sensitive information and sophisticated skills to perpetrate, says PricewaterhouseCoopers partner and head of forensic... 

Mining roof bolt cartel hearing to continue next week

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     13th January 2012 The Competition Tribunal will on Monday continue its hearings into the mining roof bolt cartel uncovered in 2009. Manufacturers Dywidag-Systems International (DSI) and Videx Wire Products, the remaining respondents in the case, will present their defence next week.  

Actom, Savcio merger hearing postponed

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th January 2012 The Competition Tribunal has postponed a hearing into the merger of electrical equipment manufacturer Actom and electrical service, repair and import company Savcio to next month, to allow Transnet Rail Engineering (TRE) time to submit its view on the deal. Transnet is particularly concerned... 

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