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Competition Policy News

Telecoms equipment supplier agrees to settlement with competition authorities

By: Simone Liedtke     16th November 2021 Telecommunications equipment and network solutions provider ZTE Corporation South Africa has agreed to pay a R5-million settlement for allegedly colluding to divide markets.   In terms of a settlement agreement concluded between ZTE Corporation and the Competition Commission, ZTE SA also agreed... 

Tribunal extends PepsiCo’s employee share scheme for second time

By: Simone Liedtke     10th November 2021 The Competition Tribunal has extended, for the second time, the compliance period for the implementation of a landmark broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) employee share ownership plan (Esop), to November 26. The Esop was imposed as a condition in the March 2020 merger whereby PepsiCo... 

Tribunal approves Super Group's acquisition of RWS

By: Schalk Burger     22nd October 2021 The Competition Tribunal of South Africa on October 22 said it has unconditionally approved transport logistics company Super Group's acquisition of wholesale courier services company Regional Wholesale Service (RWS). "The tribunal has concluded that the merger is unlikely to lead to a... 

Competition Commission calls for competition law and enforcement research proposals

By: Schalk Burger     21st October 2021 The Competition Commission has launched a multidisciplinary research grant programme aimed at promoting multidisciplinary research at South African tertiary institutions that can inform and enhance competition law enforcement in the country. The commission invites high-quality and substantive... 

Healthcare products distributor agrees to fine, but denies having contravened the Competition Act

By: Schalk Burger     18th October 2021 A Western Cape-based distributor of healthcare products has agreed to pay a penalty of R20 000 for allegedly colluding on a provincial Health Department tender that related to the supply of diagnostic sets to hospitals and health institutions under the Western Cape Department’s control, including... 

ConCourt upholds Competition Commission’s appeal in hospital merger

By: Donna Slater     18th October 2021 The Competition Commission has welcomed a landmark judgment by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt), on October 15, upholding the commission’s appeal against a decision by the Competition Appeal Court (CAC) and setting aside the CAC’s decision in a matter concerning a merger between Mediclinic... 

Initiative aims to double industry supply in five years 

By: Halima Frost     15th October 2021 The ‘Doubling of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Market’ initiative, driven by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association of South Africa (LPGSA), initiated in December 2019, is slowly gaining momentum after the inevitable impact of Covid-19 on... 

A stainless steel stove top with gas burners burning blue flame from an LPG gas supply, used for cooking
LPGSA MD Gadibolae Dihlabi discusses the plan to double the LPG sector over the next five years

Production site acquisition finalised

1st October 2021 Multinational industrial gas company Air Liquide’s acquisition of integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol’s 16 Air Separation Units (ASUs) in Secunda, Mpumalanga has now been finalised. The plan to acquire the ASUs was first announced on July 29 last year, subject to approvals. Engineering... 

A photo of seven air separation units and a pylon in the background
BIGGEST OXYGEN PRODUCTION SITE GLOBALLY The initial investment amounts to about R8-billion and comprises 16 air separation units that will now be operated by Air Liquide Large Industries South Africa Air

Competition Tribunal approves Growthpoint, Feenstra Group merger

By: Simone Liedtke     17th September 2021 The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved the large merger whereby Growthpoint Properties will acquire Joburg Stay from Feenstra Group.   This transaction involves an internal reorganisation of the Feenstra Group. As such, the target firms are Joburg Stay, seven Gauteng student... 

Tribunal finds Coca-Cola Beverages Africa ‘did not breach’ merger conditions

By: Simone Liedtke     8th September 2021 The Competition Tribunal has set aside a finding by the Competition Commission in October 2019 against Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), effectively clearing the company of claims that it had breached merger conditions relating to retrenchments. The matter relates to two mergers involving CCBA... 

Pic/Image of Coca-Cola Buddy Bottle

Earthmoving machinery, equipment companies could face charges for allegedly fixing rental rates

By: Simone Liedtke     26th August 2021 The Competition Commission has filed charges with the Competition Tribunal against the Contractors Plant Hire Association (CPHA) and its 22 members, for allegedly fixing rental rates for earthmoving machinery and plant equipment. The commission found that the association and its members... 

Commission tells Tribunal it agrees with proposed amended Burger King merger conditions

By: Schalk Burger     18th August 2021 Competition Commission chief legal counsel Bukhosibakhe Majenge, during a hearing held by the Competition Tribunal and led by tribunal chairperson Mondo Mazwai, on August 18, said the commission endorses the proposed acquisition of Burger King South Africa by private equity fund ECP Africa Fund... 

Commission calls for comments on competitor collaboration for economic recovery

By: Schalk Burger     17th August 2021 The Competition Commission has issued draft guidelines on collaboration between competitors on localisation initiatives for public comment. "In response to the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, government developed the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP), which maps out... 

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... 

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