The Competition Tribunal has been tasked to review a cartel conduct matter between wood-based panel companies KAP Diversified Industrial and Sonae Arauco South Africa, together with Steinhoff International Holdings.
KAP Diversified, previously PG Bison, and Sonae allegedly agreed to increase their prices for wood-based panel products by the same percentage at the same time.
The companies allegedly also agreed on the price they would charge their biggest customers.
The Competition Commission found that KAP Diversified and Sonae had met frequently between 2009 and 2016 during which they allegedly discussed and agreed on the percentage of their price increases and the dates it would become effective.
Wood-based panel products include particle boards, medium-density fibreboard, chipboards and melamine boards, which are often used to build cupboards, furniture, cabinets and caskets.
During the period under investigation, KAP Diversified was under the control of Steinhoff.
The commission had asked the tribunal to impose an administrative penalty of 10% of KAP Diversified and/or Steinhoff’s yearly turnover, while Sonae settled with the commission by agreeing to pay a R47-million administrative penalty.