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Competition Policy News

Business community mourns the tragic passing of Rob Legh

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd July 2021 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) says it notes with shock and sadness the passing of Rob Legh on Thursday, July 1. "We express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Rob’s family, his wife Kathryn and children India and Tommy, as well as his colleagues. 

Mpact warns shareholders of proposed plans by Caxton

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th June 2021 JSE-listed Mpact says it has not agreed to a joint merger notification with Caxton on the grounds that Caxton has, among other things, not disclosed a proposed offer price or terms. It states that its board is, therefore, unable to determine whether any such offer would be in the best interests... 

Sub-Saharan Africa rebound significantly lower than globally

By: Halima Frost     4th June 2021 A smaller contraction in 2020 and a sharper growth rebound in 2021 have led to predictions of a global rebound of about 5.6%; however, sub-Saharan Africa will lag behind, with the slowest recovery rate of about 3%, said data research and analytics company Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry... 

PLUGGED IN
The sub-Saharan Africa recovery is on on trend with the rest of the world
PLUGGED IN The sub-Saharan Africa recovery is on on trend with the rest of the world

Commission recommends approval of Air Liquide’s proposed acquisition of Sasol ASUs

By: Simone Liedtke     31st May 2021 The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve, with conditions, industrial gases company Air Liquide’s proposed acquisition of the business owning and operating 16 of petrochemicals group Sasol’s air separation units (ASUs). The target assets are 16 ASUs based... 

Air separation units at Sasol Secunda
Air separation units at Sasol Secunda

Group outlines positive ‘cascading effect’ of local manufacturing evolution

By: Terence Creamer     28th May 2021 Electrical products supplier Zest WEG aims to continue expanding its South African manufacturing footprint in an effort to improve its market competitiveness and respond to government’s growing demand for higher levels of local content in public procurement. 

JULIANO VARGAS Manufacturing has already grown to represent about one-quarter of yearly revenues
JULIANO VARGAS Manufacturing has already grown to represent about one-quarter of yearly revenues

Competition Tribunal publishes electronic format updated handbook on case law

By: Schalk Burger     26th May 2021 The Competition Tribunal has published its updated handbook on case law in electronic format on its website. The handbook is a guide to selected cases spanning two decades. 

CompCom launches online intermediation platform inquiry

By: Schalk Burger     19th May 2021 The Competition Commission has launched its Online Intermediation Platforms Market Inquiry that covers online markets that facilitate transactions between businesses and consumers for the sale of goods, services and software to understand online markets in South Africa. Online intermediation... 

Tribunal approves Premier's buyout of Mister Sweet, with conditions

By: Schalk Burger     6th May 2021 The Competition Tribunal has approved the acquisition by consumer goods manufacturer Premier of confectionery manufacturer Mister Sweet with the condition that it fill vacated nonexecutive roles with the 19 employees facing retrenchment. The merger parties had previously agreed to a moratorium on... 

Firm to donate essential goods to charity, contribute to Solidarity Fund

By: Schalk Burger     15th April 2021 Personal protective clothing and safety equipment company Mine Africa Safety Solutions has agreed to donate essential goods to a charity and contribute to the Solidarity Fund, as part of the terms of a consent agreement concluded between it and the Competition Commission. The Competition Tribunal... 

Tribunal extends PepsiCo, Pioneer Food merger's empowerment condition by six months

By: Donna Slater     8th April 2021 The Competition Tribunal has extended the compliance period for one of the conditions imposed on PepsiCo in March 2020, from 12 months, to 18 months. The conditions stem from a merger in which PepsiCo indirectly acquired Pioneer Food Group through PepsiCo’s South African subsidiary Simba. 

Tribunal allows Intercape to participate in PRASA matter

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th March 2021 The Competition Tribunal has announced that bus transportation provider, Intercape Ferreira Mainliner, will be allowed, by agreement between Intercape and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to participate in an alleged abuse of dominance case against PRASA and its subsidiary... 

Industry can grow with diverse solutions – institute

By: Cameron Mackay     26th March 2021 The best growth scenario for the local sugar industry is to diversify its products to create multiple revenue streams, says research organisation the Sugar Milling Research Institute NPC (SMRI) strategic research group leader Dr Kitty Foxon. Biochemicals and bio-materials from sugar cane-derived... 

Commission recommends approval of Stanlib Fund II's buyout of SCDA 3

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th December 2020 The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed transaction whereby Stanlib Fund II intends to acquire Solar Capital De Aar 3 (SCDA 3), without conditions. Stanlib Fund II is involved in the provision of financial services and SCDA 3 is a solar... 

Competition Commission publishes final automotive aftermarket guidelines

By: Donna Slater     11th December 2020 The Competition Commission has issued its final Guidelines for Competition in the South African Automotive Aftermarket, which are now available on the commission’s website and which will take effect from July 1, 2021. The guidelines were prepared in terms of Section 77 of the Competition Act (89... 

Business restructuring anchors producer as sugar master plan gives hope

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 The business restructuring efforts of sugar producer Tongaat Hulett over the past few years have enabled it to enter the Covid-19 outbreak as a “leaner, fit-for-purpose organisation” better able to weather the pandemic, says Tongaat Hulett sugar operations MD Simon Harvey. “The Covid-19 pandemic... 

A NEW HORIZON
The sugar master plan seeks to create a diversified and globally competitive, sustainable and transformed sugarcane-based value chain
A NEW HORIZON The sugar master plan seeks to create a diversified and globally competitive, sustainable and transformed sugarcane-based value chain

Tough times ahead despite better yields

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 Data gathered by the South African Canegrowers Association (SA Canegrowers) indicate that sugar cane crop yields in the current season are expected to be an improvement on those of the past year, owing to “perfect” to weather to date. Moreover, canegrowers have also put much effort into... 

ABUNDANT HARVEST
A large yield and constrained sugar milling capacity means that some sugar cane will not be processed this year
ABUNDANT HARVEST A large yield and constrained sugar milling capacity means that some sugar cane will not be processed this year

Tribunal confirms settlement agreement between PPC, commission

By: Simone Liedtke     11th November 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a settlement agreement between Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) and the Competition Commission which, in effect, grants PPC final immunity from prosecution in the cement cartel case. PPC has also been granted immunity from an administrative penalty. 

Govt's focus on online marketplaces is misplaced, says SBI

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th November 2020 The Small Business Institute (SBI) has asked the Competition Commission to exercise caution around online marketplace dominance. This follows after commissioner Tenbinkosi Bonakele told delegates at a conference this week about online marketplace Takealot and other major players becoming a... 

Covid-19 exacerbates competition challenges, but there is opportunity for improvement

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd November 2020 Although the Competition Commission has come a long way since 1998 in terms of investigating restrictive business practices, outgoing Competition Appeal Court judge Professor Dennis Davis and other commission members say there are still barriers to entry, increasing concentration and an economy... 

Commission grants short-term exemption to SASA and its members

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th October 2020 The Competition Commission has granted the South African Sugar Association (SASA) and its members an exemption until June 31, 2021. The exemption has been granted subject to conditions to ensure that the information SASA and its members share is limited to that which is necessary to give effect... 

Phola communities allowed to intervene in Thabong, South32 coal merger; SAEF's application dismissed

By: Simone Liedtke     21st October 2020 The Competition Tribunal has dismissed the South African Energy Forum’s (SAEF’s) application to intervene in proceedings regarding the proposed large merger between Thabong Coal and South32 South Africa Coal Holdings (South African Energy Coal or SAEC). 

Aberdare reaffirms commitment to competitive behaviour

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st October 2020 Aberdare Cables has reaffirmed its stance against anticompetitive behaviour in the manufacturing industry, including power cable manufacturing, saying it is an inhibitor to growth and needs to be addressed assertively by all stakeholders. The cable manufacturer views collusive tendering, price... 

Aberdare reaffirms commitment to competitive behaviour

Tribunal confirms agreement between commission, industrial solvents distributor

By: Donna Slater     9th October 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed, as an order, a consent agreement concluded between Durban-based distributor of industrial solvents Swift Chemicals and the Competition Commission in relation to an investigation into alleged excessive pricing in the context of Covid-19. In April, the... 

Tribunal confirms consent agreement between commission, sprinkler system installer

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th October 2020 The Competition Tribunal has approved a consent agreement between the Competition Commission and sprinkler system installer Eagle Fire Control, which admits that the company was involved in collusive tendering conduct. Eagle Fire has agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R120 000, refrain... 

Competition Tribunal dismisses case against I&J

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th September 2020 The Competition Tribunal has dismissed a case of alleged cartel conduct against processed frozen foods company Irvin & Johnson (I&J) owing to a lack of evidence. The Competition Commission had accused I&J and beef processing company Karan Beef of allegedly dividing markets in the supply of... 

Japanese firm agrees to pay R3.8m penalty

By: Donna Slater     25th August 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed, as an order, a consent agreement between the Competition Commission and Yazaki Corporation, incorporated under the company laws of Japan, in which Yazaki will pay an administrative penalty of R3.8-million. This follows after the commission accused Yazaki... 

Commission welcomes tribunal's approval of settlement with panel beating company

By: Simone Liedtke     14th August 2020 The Competition Commission has welcomed the Competition Tribunal's decision to confirm a settlement agreement between the commission and a Gauteng-based panel beating company, Eldan Auto Body, for fixing prices, dividing market and collusive tendering. The tribunal's decision was made on August 12. 

More German experts coming to help reactivate South African industry

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th August 2020 The German embassy in South Africa expects further technical experts from that country to arrive in South Africa, subject to the approval of the South African government. The first contingent of these experts, sent to help reactivate and upgrade German-owned factories and service companies in... 

Commission asks for maximum penalty against hygienic goods maker

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd July 2020 The Competition Commission has referred to the Competition Tribunal, for prosecution, Johannesburg-based wholesale distributor and manufacturer of medical productions, LevTrade International, trading as Burnshield, for alleged excessive pricing. The commission says its investigation has found... 

Tribunal confirms three more consent agreements related to excessive pricing

By: Simone Liedtke     10th July 2020 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed three more consent agreements relating to Covid-19 excessive pricing complaints. The Competition Commission had concluded the consent agreements with the three firms after receiving and investigating complaints from the public. 

Cleaning company fined R250 000 following 2016 Sassa tender collusion

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 The Competition Tribunal has, after requesting and receiving further submissions from involved parties, confirmed a consent agreement whereby corporate cleaning company Quintax Cleaning Services has admitted to collusion in 2016 with regard to a South African Social Security Agency (Sassa)... 

Automation reduces costs, increases productivity

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 With companies that invest in technology and automation showing signs of being more adaptable and strategically well positioned to take advantage of an inevitable upswing in the economy, local manufacturer and supplier of cutting and welding equipment consumables as well as distributor of steel... 

ANDREW POOLE
Companies which take the risk and invest are more agile, more productive and better positioned to diversify and access new markets
ANDREW POOLE Companies which take the risk and invest are more agile, more productive and better positioned to diversify and access new markets

Caprichem agrees to pay R600 000 for alleged excessive pricing

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd June 2020 The Competition Commission has applied to the Competition Tribunal for confirmation as an order a settlement agreement with Cape Town-based company Caprichem, which has agreed to pay a settlement amount, comprising of an administrative penalty and contribution to the Solidarity Fund totalling... 

Welding range offers value for power tools wholesaler

By: Mamaili Mamaila     19th June 2020 Power tools and hardware wholesaler Matus South Africa’s MatWeld range continues to be a big part of the company’s business, says Matus welding category manager Warren Pedlar. 

DIY PERSONIFIED 
Matus South Africa’s high-quality welding and plasma-cutting industrial and do-it-yourself machines all carry a two-year warranty
DIY PERSONIFIED Matus South Africa’s high-quality welding and plasma-cutting industrial and do-it-yourself machines all carry a two-year warranty

CDH says Comp Act focusing on SMEs, but says that larger firms also struggling 

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd June 2020 The onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to complicate matters for various business, especially with the South African Competition Act now seemingly focusing on protecting smaller firms and customers who may be subject to price hikes during these difficult times. With the world finding... 

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) competition director Andries le Grange
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's (CDH's) Andries le Grange and Jerome Brink gives viewers some insight into the Competition Act, as well as what Covid-19 tax relief measures firms can consider. Video: CDH. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Construction sector survival requires fresh approach

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 The survival of the construction industry will depend on the willingness and ability of individuals and organisations to adapt to a new way of working, as well government’s commitment to address the threats highlighted by the sector, University of Pretoria (UP) Graduate School of Technology... 

DECISIVE ACTION 
For the construction industry to thrive, opportunism will need to be dealt with immediately and decisively
DECISIVE ACTION For the construction industry to thrive, opportunism will need to be dealt with immediately and decisively

Pandemic, economic challenges to shape industry direction

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Industry trends are likely to take a new direction because of the global Covid-19 pandemic and a severely constrained local economy, says steel and value-added steel products merchandiser and distributor Macsteel. 

MIKE BENFIELD 
The construction and steel sectors – including the larger manufacturing industry – are “hand-in-glove”
MIKE BENFIELD The construction and steel sectors – including the larger manufacturing industry – are “hand-in-glove”
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