The Competition Commission has welcomed the Competition Tribunal’s decision to confirm, as an order, an R11-million consent agreement with a distributor of face masks and personal protection gear.
The ruling follows after the commission referred the agreement to the tribunal after it found the company had inflated the prices of face masks, which are considered essential hygienic items.
In terms of the agreement, wholesaler Matus agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R5.9-million, contribute R5-million to the Solidarity Fund of Covid-19, and will, with immediate effect, reduce its gross profit margin on dust masks to acceptable levels for the duration of the state of national disaster.
The company admitted to inflation of its gross profit margins with regard to the face masks.
The company will ensure that its gross profit margins for essential products will not be increased above what was applicable on February 16, 2020, for as long as such products remain as essential in terms of the Consumer Protection Regulations or any subsequent amendment or regulation, the commission said in a statement.