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Competition Policy News

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... 

Competition bodies weigh PIC’s plan to convert Afrisam debt to equity 

By: Terence Creamer     14th December 2011 South Africa’s Competition Tribunal has reserved judgment on a proposed merger involving the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and cement producer Afrisam, after the Competition Commission proposed that the deal be approved with certain conditions. The conditions suggested were designed, the... 

SA wants development goal to top agenda at WTO meeting

By: Henry Lazenby     28th November 2011 South Africa will urge member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) not to hijack the development goals of the Doha round at the upcoming Ministerial conference in Geneva, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Monday. Davies said there was consensus among developing nations in... 

Business rescue hampered by cumbersome licensing process

     11th November 2011 Business rescue measures, brought into effect by the Companies Act (of 2008) in May, are not being effectively implemented because of a cumbersome business rescue practitioner licensing process, says Werksmans Attorneys director Eric Levenstein. 

Lafarge, NPC-Cimpor still face cartel penalties as AfriSam is fined R124.9m 

By: Terence Creamer     1st November 2011 South African cement producer AfriSam has reached a R124.9-million settlement agreement with the Competition Commission for its part in a cement cartel involving three other cement producers. The agreement followed on from a commission investigation, initiated in June 2008, of price fixing and... 

South Africa moves to enhance its intellectual property policy

By: Tracy Hancock     19th August 2011 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) intends to submit the Intellectual Property (IP) draft policy to Cabinet next month to secure approval to undertake wider public consultation, sates DTI group COO Jodi Scholtz. She announced this at the department’s IP Indaba, in Pretoria, at the... 

New Growth Path imperatives said to underpin State’s Walmart appeal

By: Schalk Burger     12th August 2011 Should South African retailers’ direct competition source cheaper products from foreign companies, local retailers would follow suit, which could lead to the closure of local suppliers and job losses, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies warned last week, when explaining government's... 

Many businesses unaware criminal liability for certain cartel behaviour already exists – lawyers

By: Eleanor Seggie     29th July 2011 The business community has been prevailing under the misapprehension that criminal liability for cartel behaviour will only become a reality once the Competition Amendment Act, No 1 of 2009, is promulgated.  

Waste offenders face stiff penalties, but enforcement capacity questioned

By: Eleanor Seggie     22nd July 2011 While the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, No 59 of 2008 brings with it abundant opportunities and regulatory tools, it also introduces severe criminal liability for directors and companies.  

Tiger Brands hoping for significant earnings from recently acquired businesses

By: Eleanor Seggie     17th June 2011 Consumer packaged goods company Tiger Brands’ has made a number of acquisitions set to generate significant earnings in the longer-term. 

Grain storage and trading firms to pay R21m in competition settlement

By: Loni Prinsloo     6th June 2011 Four grain companies have agreed to pay administrative penalties for fixing the South African Futures Exchanges’ (Safex) daily grain storage tariffs, the Competition Commission said on Monday. Afgri Operations would pay the largest administrative penalty, R15.6-million, while Kaap Agri would pay... 

Wal-Mart deal could open doors for other retail takeovers – economist

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     10th May 2011 The R16,5-billion acquisition of Massmart by the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, if successful, could open up the South African retail market to further acquisitions by foreign companies. Econometrix senior economist Tony Twine tells Engineering News Online that there are other companies in... 

Competition Commission appoints head for new cartel division

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     5th May 2011 The Competition Commission, which established a cartels division in April, has appointed Advocate Oliver Josie as the head of the new division. Advocacy and stakeholder relations manager Oupa Bodipe told Engineering News Online that there are currently 15 people employed within the cartels unit,... 

Raubex files ‘fast-track’ application with competition body

By: Petronel Smit     29th April 2011 JSE-listed Raubex has confirmed that it filed an application with the Competition Commission by the April 15 deadline for “fast track” submissions, after it became aware of certain irregularities in terms of the provisions of the Competition Act. The company on Friday reported that certain... 

DTI says Japanese takeover of Freeworld to weaken competition 

By: Loni Prinsloo     31st March 2011 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has asked the Competition Commission to oppose the hostile takeover of South African company Freeworld Coatings by Japanese multinational Kansai Paint. Kansai has been locked in a public dispute with Freeworld's management since announcing its... 

Bedfordview shopping centre collusion referred to Competition Tribunal

By: Loni Prinsloo     16th March 2011 The Competition Commission said on Wednesday it had referred a collusion case in the Gauteng retail property market to the Competition Tribunal for adjudication. The referral followed a complaint and and subsequent leniency application from the HBW Group, which owns the Bedford Square shopping... 

New auto purchasing council set to fuel SA’s local content drive 

By: Terence Creamer     11th March 2011 An original equipment manufacturers (OEM) ‘purchasing council’, which would seek to further bolster localisation efforts in South Africa’s automotive supply chain, is being finalised, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe revealed on Friday. Addressing a Motor Industry Staff Association (Misa)... 

Massmart staff, suppliers not at risk as Walmart enters, CEO avers

By: Eleanor Seggie     11th March 2011 Massmart CEO Grant Pattison does not believe that competitors and suppliers of Massmart will suffer as a consequence of the Walmart deal. 

M&R has made no specific provision for bid-rigging fines

By: Terence Creamer     25th February 2011 Construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R), which has been named along with South Africa’s four other major contractors as having participated in bid rigging, believes that the level of penalty that could arise from the current Competition Commission settlement process to be “well within current... 

SA’s Competition Commission receives international accolades

By: Christy van der Merwe     8th February 2011 South Africa’s Competition Commission recently scooped the accolade of ‘Agency of the Year in Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa’ in the Global Competition Review (GCR) 2011 awards held in the US. “We feel honoured at this recognition by our peers. The commission has matured into an effective... 

Safcec urges members to cooperate with competition probe

By: Petronel Smit     8th February 2011 The South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) on Tuesday welcomed the Competition Commission investigations into anticompetitive practices in the construction industry and encouraged its affected members to cooperate fully. This comes after the commission offered a... 

Aveng claims ‘ongoing cooperation’ with competition body

By: Terence Creamer     3rd February 2011 Engineering and construction group Aveng, whose subsidiaries were named by the Competition Commission this week as being among several construction companies to have participated in bid rigging and collusion, said on Thursday that it was in “ongoing cooperation” with the authorities to root out... 

Construction bid rigging probed, firms asked to come clean 

By: Christy van der Merwe     1st February 2011 The Competition Commission on Tuesday invited construction companies to engage in a “fast track settlement” of Competition Act contraventions relating to bid-rigging for projects in the public and private sectors. The Commission is already investigating 65 bid-rigging cases in the construction... 

Supermarkets cleared in Competition Commission probe

By: Petronel Smit     27th January 2011 The Competition Commission has cleared South Africa’s major supermarkets of price fixing, but it has flagged some “competition concerns”. The investigation concluded that there was insufficient evidence to show contraventions of the Competition Act pertaining to abuse of buyer power, category... 

Gordhan, Patel come to terms on Pioneer fine, open door to future earmarks

By: Terence Creamer     30th November 2010 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel have resolved differences over the flow of the R500-million in fines arising from the so-called ‘Pioneer settlement’, while also opening the door for the Competition Commission to stipulate, or earmark, how penalties... 

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