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Competition Policy News

Cartel in tyre industry uncovered

By: Sapa     6th September 2010 The Competition Commission investigation has uncovered a cartel in the tyre manufacturing industry, it said on Monday. In a statement, the commission said it had referred a complaint of collusive tendering, price fixing, information exchange and market allocation to the Competition Tribunal. 

SA's antitrust authorities show way in exclusionary-abuse cases, expert claims

By: Terence Creamer     2nd September 2010 South Africa's competition authorities were striking a healthier balance in dealing with cases of exclusionary abuses by dominant companies than was currently the case in either the US or the European Union (EU), a leading international competition economist has argued. Speaking at the fourth... 

Commission seeks penalty for scrap traders facing collusion charges

By: Loni Prinsloo     26th August 2010 South Africa's Competition Commission on Thursday requested that the Competition Tribunal impose a 10% of yearly turnover penalty on eight of the 13 scrap merchants accused of collusion. The scrap metals traders face allegations that they colluded to set prices, divide the markets, and fix... 

Tribunal withdraws charges against First Uranium accountant

By: Chanel de Bruyn     19th August 2010 South Africa’s Competition Tribunal announced on Thursday that it had withdrawn a criminal charge against Rory Cole, a financial accountant of First Uranium, for failing to respond to a summons issued by the tribunal. Last week, the tribunal laid a charge with the South African Police Service... 

Tribunal lays charges against First Uranium accountant

By: Chanel de Bruyn     16th August 2010 In the first incident of its kind, South Africa’s Competition Tribunal has laid a criminal charge against a person for not adhering to a summons issued by it. The tribunal on Monday announced that it had, on August 13, laid a charge with the South African Police Service (SAPS) against Rory Cole,... 

Excessive pricing to come under spotlight again as Sasol faces polymer charge

By: Terence Creamer     12th August 2010 Lingering doubts about what constitutes excessive pricing in the South African context could finally be resolved, following a decision by the Competition Commission to refer complaints of collusion and excessive pricing against Sasol in the polymers market to the Competition Tribunal for... 

Recession, rand exact heavy toll on Foskor

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2010 South African phosphate rock miner and fertiliser producer Foskor reported a sharp fall in revenue and earnings for the year ended March 31, 2010, on the back of a recession-linked pullback in prices and demand, as well as lower production and a strong appreciation of the rand against the US... 

Tribunal rejects kulula.com objections to 1time complaint amendment  

By: Loni Prinsloo     2nd August 2010 South Africa's Competition Tribunal said on Monday that airliner kulula.com's objection to 1time's application for amendments to its complaint to the Tribunal was without merit. Last week, the Tribunal granted 1time leave to amend a complaint referral to include a contravention of the... 

No Iata involvement in air cargo collusion case

By: Sapa     30th July 2010 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) in Geneva is not involved in the South African Competition Commission's inquiry into cases of collusion in the cargo carriage market. "That the airlines involved in the Commission's inquiry are members of Iata does not and should no imply any... 

Eight air-cargo carriers fingered for long-running collusion

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th July 2010 South Africa's Competition Commission confirmed on Thursday that it had referred eight air-cargo carriers to the Competition Tribunal for alleged collusive behaviour that had endured for a ten-year period, from 1996 to 2006. The companies face allegations of fixing the price of the fuel... 

R12,8m scrap metal settlement confirmed

By: Sapa     15th July 2010 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a R12,8-million settlement agreement between the Competition Commission and Power Metal Recyclers. It said on Thursday that the settlement was 5% of Power Metal's turnover for the year ended February 2006. 

Tribunal postpones decision on Sasol fertiliser settlement

By: Loni Prinsloo     14th July 2010 The Competition Tribunal on Wednesday postponed its confirmation of the settlement agreement reached between the Competition Commission and Sasol, relating to allegations of abuse of dominance in the JSE-listed company's fertiliser business. Sasol spokesperson Jacqui O'Sullivan said that the... 

Bicycle wholesalers, retailers face price-fixing charge 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      28th June 2010 The Competition Commission has requested the Competition Tribunal to levy an administrative penalty on 28 bicycle wholesalers and retailers that it believes had been involved in price-fixing activities during 2008. The firms were facing allegations that they colluded to set the wholesale and... 

Tribunal confirms R13m settlement in bitumen case

By: Chanel de Bruyn     23rd June 2010 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a R13-million settlement agreement between petroleum products producer and marketer Masana Petroleum Solutions and the Competition Commission in relation to a bitumen and bituminous products price-fixing cartel. Following an application for leniency made by... 

Steel surcharge receiving ‘priority attention', says commission

By: Terence Creamer     28th May 2010 South Africa's Competition Commission says it is giving "priority attention" to a letter written to it by Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies regarding the implementation, by ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA), of an "iron-ore" surcharge of R600-plus on every ton of steel sold domestically... 

Competition body raids cable firms suspected of collusion

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2010 South Africa's Competition Commission confirmed on Thursday that it had raided the premises of four Gauteng electric-cable manufacturers, which it suspected of engaging in price fixing, market allocation and collusive tendering. The search-and-seizure operation followed a complaint initiated by... 

SA has fined cartel participants R1,1bn over past decade 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd April 2010 Over the past decade, some R1,1-billion worth of penalties have been collected from those South African companies that were found guilty of anticompetitive behaviour, and Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Thursday that government planned to continue with its crackdown on these... 

Vesa moves to ensure more independence

By: Christy van der Merwe     22nd April 2010 The Vehicle Security Association of South Africa (Vesa) has stated that there was a new vision and a new resolve in the organisation ensuring its independence and fairness. This came after a recent Competition Tribunal ruling, which found that the country's top three vehicle tracking companies... 

Tribunal grants interim relief order against Trudon, Telkom

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th April 2010 The Competition Tribunal on Thursday granted Port Elizabeth-based Directory Solutions (DS) an interim relief order against Trudon and Telkom, forcing Telkom to accept DS’s customers without upfront payments. Trudon would also have to publish all subscriber entries provided by DS for the regions... 

Steel companies want access to collusion investigation documents

By: Loni Prinsloo     30th March 2010 South Africa's Competition Tribunal will on Thursday hold hearings to consider applications by Cape Gate and ArcelorMittal South Africa to make documents available, which the Competition Commission used in a collusion investigation. Scaw Metals, which applied for corporate leniency, and the... 

Competition Commission seeks fine for wheat-milling cartel 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th March 2010 The Competition Commission has referred its findings in a wheat-milling cartel investigation against Pioneer Foods, Foodcorp, Godrich Milling, Premier Foods and Tiger Brands to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, it announced on Monday. The Commission noted that, during its investigation... 

Tribunal conditionally approves Chlor Alkali/Botash merger

By: Loni Prinsloo     1st March 2010 South Africa's Competition Tribunal, further to the recommendation of the Competition Commission, conditionally approved the merger between Chlor Alkali Holdings (CAH) and Botswana Ash (Botash) on Friday. Initially, the Competition Commission recommended that the Tribunal prohibit the merger,... 

Tribunal ruling opens way for civil claims against SAA

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th February 2010 A new Competition Tribunal ruling in relation to incentive schemes implemented by South African Airway (SAA) between 2001 and 2005 has paved the way for Comair and Nationwide to claim damages from the State-owned airline, the Tribunal confirmed on Thursday. It had, on Wednesday, ruled that SAA’s... 

Competition Tribunal dismisses complaint against DME 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th February 2010 The Competition Tribunal on Monday dismissed the complaint brought forward by mining industry electronics equipment supplier AEC Electronics against the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME). "We neither have the competence to instruct a state functionary exercising a public power to act in a... 

Comair denies price collusion allegations  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th January 2010 JSE-listed aviation company Comair, which operates the kulula.com and British Airways airlines in the Southern African region, has denied that there has been any collusion between local airlines around pricing for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In a statement issued on Friday, the company “strongly... 

Court dismisses milk processors’ appeal in cartel case

     8th December 2009 The Competition Appeal Court (CAC) has again dismissed an application by milk processors Milkwood Dairy and Woodlands Dairy to have the ongoing milk cartel case against a number of milk processors, including themselves, set aside. The CAC this week dismissed an application by Milkwood and... 

Commission refers mesh wire cartel findings to Tribunal

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     3rd December 2009 The Competition Commission on Thursday referred its findings of a price fixing and market allocation cartel in the manufacturing and supply of reinforcing mesh products market to the Tribunal for adjudication. The cartel involved companies such as Aveng, trading as Steeldale Mesh, Capital Africa... 

Senwes loses Competition Tribunal appeal

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th November 2009 The Competition Appeal Court has dismissed agricultural services company Senwes’ appeal against the Competition Tribunal’s February ruling that it had engaged in what was called a “margin squeeze”. It also rejected the Competition Commission’s cross-appeal against the finding made by the... 

C&CI says it was not aware of anti-competitive behaviour

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th November 2009 The Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI) on Thursday emphasised that it has never been involved in, or aware of, any anti-competitive behaviour, either in its professional capacity or on behalf of any of its cement producing members. This followed on an announcement made by Pretoria Portland... 

Public anger over cartel abuses underpins SA’s move towards criminalisation

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     30th October 2009 The Competition Amendment Bill, which was recently signed into law but was still awaiting promulgation, could change how companies regarded compliance regulation, the Competition Commission, Shan Ramburuth, told a gathering of business people on Friday. Speaking at Business Unity South Africa’s... 

Competition-related fines dent 2009 profits

By: Lindsey Berry     23rd October 2009 One-off charges, most notably competition related fines, Inzalo share-based payment expenses and remeasurement items for the Escravos gas-to-liquids project, significantly affected South African petrochemicals giant Sasol’s operating profit figures for 2009. 

Competition Commission uncovers mining cartel activity 

By: Martin Creamer     30th September 2009 South Africa's Competition Commission on Wednesday announced the uncovering of an alleged mining-supply cartel. The findings of the commission have been referred to the Competition Tribunal, which has been asked to levy a penalty of 10% on the annual turnover of three of the four firms named.  

‘Price-fixing killed the conscience of business’ – deputy Minister

By: Chanel de Bruyn     23rd September 2009 Economic Development Deputy Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde on Wednesday expressed concern over the “merciless” way price fixing “has killed the conscience” of businesses, as well as over fraud and the mismanagement of corporate funds. She said she had difficulty in comprehending why there were... 

Tribunal chair concerned about competition in SA economy

By: Christy van der Merwe     15th July 2009 “I am not happy with the state of competition in South Africa – it is an area to be viewed with considerable concern,” said Competition Tribunal chairperson David Lewis on Wednesday. Addressing delegated gathered at the Neotel and Mail & Guardian business breakfast in Rosebank, he added that... 

Omnia defends position in Competition Commission fertilizer probe

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th May 2009 JSE-listed chemical services company, Omnia on Wednesday said it noted the comment by the Competition Commission, linking it to the Sasol Nitro collusion investigation, which was heard at the Competition Tribunal. “Notwithstanding recent media reports, the grounds for our defence against the... 

Competition body confirms fresh fertiliser probe

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2009 The Competition Commission is proceeding with a new investigation of possible anticompetitive behaviour in the fertiliser industry, the commission’s economist and divisional manager of policy research Dr Simon Roberts confirmed on Wednesday. Addressing a Competition Tribunal hearing into a... 

Sasol agrees to higher R250m fine after more fertiliser breaches are unearthed 

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2009 Energy and chemicals group Sasol announced on Tuesday that, in line with an amended agreement reached with the Competition Commission, it had agreed to an even heftier fine of R250,68-million to settle competition breaches involving its fertiliser unit. Earlier, a fine of R188-million had been... 

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