Foskor still contesting Competition Tribunal price findings

14th November 2017 By: Megan van Wyngaardt - Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

In response to earlier reports that Foskor had been prevented from setting the domestic phosphoric acid price at a level higher than the international price by the Competition Tribunal, the phosphates and phosphoric acid producer tells Engineering News Online that it is still in talks to contest the tribunal’s earlier decision.

Foskor and Omnia, to which Foskor supplies phosphoric acid, have been in a legal dispute over pricing since 2014.

In October 2015, the High Court ruled in favour of Omnia, enforcing the Competition Tribunal order.

Subsequently, in March 2016, Foskor lodged an appeal that resulted in the High Court judgment being suspended and Foskor being granted leave to appeal to the full bench of the High Court.

The recent dismissal of Foskor’s appeal by the full bench of the High Court was the third time that Foskor had failed to convince the courts of the merits of its case, Omnia said in a statement last week.

“The Competition Tribunal has not instructed Foskor to lower its prices. In fact, Foskor is currently involved in proceedings before the Competition Tribunal to have the consent order varied so that it may charge a competitive price, taking into consideration current market conditions.

“Foskor believes its cost-plus pricing method is competitive and in accordance with local competition laws,” Foskor marketing, sales and legal VP Similo Sibisi said in an emailed interview.

He added that the High Court findings pertained to the interpretation of the consent order and did not deal with the questions of whether Foskor’s pricing was excessive. “The pricing is a matter for the competition authorities,” he said.

“Foskor’s price to Omnia was based on cost-plus pricing, as opposed to the international market price. Foskor reverted to cost-plus pricing because the international price was lower than its cost of production. Foskor cannot be expected to subsidise its customers,” Sibisi noted.