The Competition Commission (Comp Comm) has filed a referral with the Competition Tribunal for prosecution against NGK Spark Plug (NGK), together with its South African subsidiary, NGK Spark Plugs South Africa (NGK SA), for their involvement in price fixing, market division and collusive tendering.
The Comp Comm says it seeks an order from the Tribunal to levy an administrative penalty equivalent to 10% of the yearly turnover of either NGK or NGK SA, “the one paying the other to be absolved, in terms of section 58 (1)(a)(iii), read with section 59 of the [Competition] Act”.
NGK is a global manufacturer and supplier of spark plugs to vehicle manufacturers.
The Comm Comm says it scrutinised NGK and NGK SA operations as part of its investigation of 63 automotive components manufacturers alleged to have colluded on 310 separate instances, involving 92 automotive components.
The commission’s investigation against NGK found that from at least 2008, NGK colluded with Denso when responding to a request for quotation issued by Fuji Heavy Industries for the supply of spark plugs for the AR18 engine installed in its Subaru Impreza, Subaru Forrester and Subaru Legacy vehicles sold in South Africa.
On October 13, 2014, the Comp Comm announced that it had launched investigations into price fixing, market division and collusive tendering in the market for the manufacture and supply of automotive components supplied to vehicle manufacturers.
NGK is one of the firms that the Commission has been investigating for collusive conduct in the supply of automotive components.
Spark plugs are one of the components that have been subjected to collusive behaviour by automotive components manufacturers, such as NGK, says the Comp Comm.