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Competition Policy News

Boost Competition Act to address concentration, stimulate transformation – Ramaphosa

By: Terence Creamer     1st September 2017 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for a broadening of competition policy and legislation to address ongoing structural concentration in the ownership and control in key economic sectors in South Africa, while still continuing to address anticompetitive behaviour by companies. Speaking... 

Tribunal hears settlement agreement involving wire cable industry association

By: Anine Kilian     23rd August 2017 The Competition Tribunal is considering a settlement agreement involving the Association of Electric Cable Manufacturers South Africa (AECMSA), which has admitted to fixing the selling price of electric power cables, largely affecting State-owned power utility Eskom, as well as large industries... 

Still much uncertainty as LPG stakeholders grapple with market inquiry findings

By: Mia Breytenbach     18th August 2017 In the findings and recommendations of the first-ever market inquiry into the local liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry, the Competition Commission urges public and private organisations to improve performance in the sector, yet much uncertainty remains in the wake of the report’s publication.... 

Still much uncertainty as LPG stakeholders grapple with market inquiry findings

Computer thieves hit Competition Commission

By: African News Agency      14th August 2017 Daring thieves broke into the offices of the Competition Commission and stole two laptops from the division that investigates cartels. Sipho Ngwema, the head of communications at the Competition Commission, revealed at the weekend  that there was a “security breach” at the offices of statutory body. 

Legal and policy certainty required if gas economy is to be realised

By: Mia Breytenbach     4th August 2017 Key factors that will influence the establishment of a gas economy in South Africa include the passing of the amended Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) and greater clarity regarding the expected and stated imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), says South African Oil and... 

INDUSTRIAL ROLEMODEL
Liquefied petroleum gas industry could play a strategic role in the establishment of a gas economy as key lessons can be learnt from this industry 
Photo by Reuters
INDUSTRIAL ROLEMODEL Liquefied petroleum gas industry could play a strategic role in the establishment of a gas economy as key lessons can be learnt from this industry 

Competition Commission raids premises of 25 fire sprinkler installers 

By: Anine Kilian     3rd August 2017 The Competition Commission on Thursday carried out simultaneous and coordinated search and seizure raids at the premises of the Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bureau (Asib) and 24 fire control and protection services companies that are members of Asib. This is the largest number of premises... 

Stuttaford Van Lines charged for collusive tendering in government furniture transportation

By: African News Agency      3rd August 2017 Furniture removal company, Stuttaford Van Lines, on Wednesday was charged with 649 counts of collusive tendering relating to hundreds of government tenders issued for furniture transportation.  The Competition Commission, which charged Stuttaford, said this included tenders issued by the... 

Tribunal confirms consent agreement with gear pump supplier

By: Creamer Media Reporter      28th July 2017 The Competition Tribunal this week approved a consent agreement with Fermel for colluding and dividing up markets for branded gear pumps. The Competition Commission followed up a February complaint outlining that Fermel and another company had entered to an agreement to divide markets by... 

Tribunal confirms settlement agreement with second fire control systems supplier

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th July 2017 Fireco Gauteng, now called KRS Fire, which specialises in supplying, installing and maintaining fire control and protection systems, has agreed to pay a R909 376 administrative penalty for collusion. The Competition Tribunal has confirmed the settlement agreement with the company. 

Competition Commission launches inquiry into public transport sector

By: Anine Kilian     17th July 2017 The Competition Commission has launched a market inquiry into the public passenger transport sector following numerous complaints relating to public transport in the country.    The ‘Public Passenger Transport Market Inquiry’ was recently published in the Government Gazette and the commission is... 

Two chemicals companies fined for cartel conduct

By: Anine Kilian     14th July 2017 Two companies involved in the manufacture and supply of key chemical input materials used to make detergents, cosmetics and toiletries have agreed to pay fines to the Competition Commission after admitting to price fixing and dividing markets.   Investchem and Akulu Marchon are manufacturers and... 

Locally produced engineering steel declining

By: Nica Schreuder     7th July 2017 It has become cheaper to import finished products manufactured  overseas  than to manufacture engineering steel in the country, which has resulted in more than half the country’s foundries closing down, laments specialised steel and industry expertise company Special Steels MD Byron Ferguson. He... 

HIGH PROFILE Hydraulic cyclinder components being cut from a 300 mm carbon steel plate at Special Steels
HIGH PROFILE Hydraulic cyclinder components being cut from a 300 mm carbon steel plate at Special Steels

Corobrik says collusion charges a misunderstanding 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th July 2017 Construction materials provider Corobrik believes its agreements with other brick manufacturing companies were legitimate and defensible in terms of the Competition Act. The Competition Commission on Wednesday said that an investigation launched in April against Corobrik, Era Bricks, Eston,... 

Commission approves Dow, DuPont merger with conditions

By: Anine Kilian     5th July 2017 The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that the proposed large merger between DuPont and Dow Chemical Company be approved with conditions.    Both Dow and DuPont are companies incorporated in accordance with the company laws of the US. Dow is the ultimate parent... 

Business holds small-business funding line, despite serious postreshuffle trust deficit

By: Mia Breytenbach     30th June 2017 It is now well documented how President Jacob Zuma’s March 31 Cabinet reshuffle, which saw South Africa’s highly-regarded Pravin Gordhan removed as Finance Minister, seriously undermined trust between government and its social partners, including business. The controversial move also placed the... 

Business holds small-business funding line, despite serious postreshuffle trust deficit

Two fire control companies admit to cartel behaviour, agree to pay fines

By: Anine Kilian     26th June 2017 Two fire control and protection systems companies that had been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution have admitted to engaging in cartel behaviour and will pay penalties. The two companies, Fireco Gauteng and Afrion, have admitted to engaging in price fixing, market division and... 

Cable manufacturer to fork out R13m for price fixing

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st June 2017 Alberton-based cable manufacturing company South Ocean Electric Wire Company (SOEW) has been fined R13.36-million by the Competition Tribunal, after admitting to having engaged in price fixing, market division and collusive tendering between November 2003 and November 2012. The fine comprises a... 

Competition Commission prohibits two separate mergers

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st June 2017 The Competition Commission has prohibited a proposed merger between Dutch packaging manufacturer Greif International and local steel drum manufacturer Rheem South Africa, as it would garner anticompetitive activities. The commission felt that, as Greif and Rheem were the only manufacturers of... 

Rooibos Limited faces abuse of dominance charge

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th June 2017 South Africa’s largest rooibos producer Rooibos Limited has been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, for allegedly abusing its dominance and engaging in uncompetitive behaviour. Historically, rooibos tea processors obtained their supply from farmers through one-year supply... 

Rooibos Limited faces abuse of dominance charge

Competition authorities reach settlement with Adcock, Bidvest

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th June 2017 The Competition Tribunal has reached a R2-million settlement with pharmaceuticals group Adcock Ingram with regards to its proposed merger with BB Investment, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bidvest Group. The Competition Commission earlier referred a complaint to the tribunal, alleging that... 

Competition Commission sets it sights on alleged collusive behaviour in beef industry

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th June 2017 The Completion Commission on Wednesday morning raided 13 premises belonging to seven meat suppliers in three provinces as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged fixing of prices and trading conditions. The search and seizure operations were conducted at Karan Beef, Sparta Foods,... 

Competition Commission sets it sights on alleged collusive behaviour in beef industry

Competition Commission swoops on pharmaceutical companies

By: African News Agency      13th June 2017 The Competition Commission on Tuesday announced that it has initiated an investigation of anti-competitive conduct into companies in the healthcare sector relating to provision of cancer medicine in South Africa. The commission said it would be investigating pharmaceutical giants like Roche,... 

Denel purchase of aero engine company approved with conditions

By: Keith Campbell     9th June 2017 South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended that State-owned defence and aerospace group Denel be allowed to buy local aero-engine company Turbomeca Africa (TMA). The recommendation was given to the Competition Tribunal. The Commission announced this decision on late last month.  

Tribunal dismisses tyre manufacturers’ complaint

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th June 2017 The Competition Tribunal has dismissed applications sought by local tyre manufacturers Goodyear South Africa and Continental Tyre South Africa to order a portion of the Competition Commission's complaint referral be set aside in a price-fixing complaint. In 2010, the commission referred a... 

Three padlock suppliers face collusion charges

By: Anine Kilian     1st June 2017 The Competition Commission has referred three companies – Cakaca, Southern Ambition and Zamantlane Construction and Cleaning – to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution over alleged price fixing and collusive tendering in relation to a tender issued by the City of Cape Town. The companies... 

Boat operators charged for alleged collusion in Robben Island museum tender

31st May 2017 Five vessel owners who ferry passengers between the Robben Island Museum and the V&A Waterfront, in Cape Town, have been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on charges of alleged price fixing and collusive tendering.   This follows an investigation by the Competition Commission,... 

SACP outraged at ‘pinprick’ MultiChoice settlement

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th May 2017 The South African Communist Party (SACP) on Monday hit out at the Competition Tribunal for issuing a penalty against pay-television operator MultiChoice for price-fixing that was “nothing close to a slap on the wrist”. Last week, MultiChoice’s DStv Media Sales agreed to a R180-million consent... 

Patel moves to bolster Competition Act’s powers to fight economic concentration 

By: Terence Creamer     26th May 2017 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has established an advisory panel to develop draft amendments to the Competition Act with a view to bolstering South Africa’s legislative capacity of to address “persistently high levels of economic concentration”. Patel announced the proposed... 

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel
Photo by Duane Daws
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

New-look procurement rules punted as possible transformation game changer

By: David Oliveira     26th May 2017 Major reform of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) regulations, which came into effect last month, is expected to provide the legislative assistance to drive radical economic transformation in South Africa by providing greater opportunities for small, medium-sized and... 

New-look procurement rules punted as possible  transformation game changer

Competition Commission approves Denel buy of local aero-engine company

By: Keith Campbell     25th May 2017 South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended that State-owned defence and aerospace group Denel be allowed to buy local aero-engine company Turbomeca Africa (TMA). The recommendation was given to the Competition Tribunal. The Commission announced this decision on Thursday.  

Tribunal fines Giuricich Coastal Projects R900 000 for cover pricing

By: Anine Kilian     22nd May 2017 The Competition Tribunal on Monday issued an order imposing an administrative penalty of R900 000 on construction company Giuricich Coastal Projects for cover pricing in 2008. The Competition Commission said Mondi had invited three construction firms – Giuricich, Grinaker and Stefanutti Stocks –... 

Southern Palace outlines vision for radically transformed M&R infrastructure unit 

By: Mia Breytenbach     19th May 2017 The newly black-owned construction company, conceived from a R314-million sale agreement between engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) and black-empowered Southern Palace Group, aims to build on its 115-year heritage to become a “leading, tier one, infrastructure player in... 

Southern Palace outlines vision for radically transformed  M&R infrastructure unit
Southern Palace CEO Lucas Tseki discusses the importance of the new company which will emerge from the transaction with engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

High Court rejects Farmers Trust’s appeal in fresh produce competition investigation 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th May 2017 The High Court of South Africa has dismissed an application by Farmers Trust to set aside the Competition Commission’s search warrant in an investigation into alleged cartel and price-fixing conduct by fresh produce market agents. The failed bid followed a search and seizure operation conducted... 

High Court rejects Farmers Trust’s appeal in fresh produce competition investigation

New audit service to support concrete product manufacturers

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th May 2017 Cement and construction materials supplier AfriSam is providing additional support for its Concrete Product Manufacturers (CPMs) customers through its new Efficiency Audit service offering. AfriSam national sales manager Amit Dawneerangen says there has been a downturn in infrastructure projects... 

CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE
AfriSam’s Centre of Product Excellence offers customers an additional Efficiency Audit service
CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE AfriSam’s Centre of Product Excellence offers customers an additional Efficiency Audit service

ConCourt dismisses appeal by participants in bicycle industry cartel

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     11th May 2017 The Constitutional Court has dismissed Omnico’s and Coolheat Agencies’ leave to appeal its ruling finding them guilty of price fixing in a bicycle cartel. The Competition Commission on Thursday welcomed the ruling, noting that the parties were appealing the ruling that if a firm participates in a... 

LPG industry urged to act on non-binding market inquiry findings 

By: Terence Creamer     24th April 2017 South Africa’s Competition Commission has made far-reaching, yet non-binding, recommendations for dealing with prevailing “market distortions” in the domestic liquid petroleum gas (LPG) sector following its first-ever market inquiry, which took nearly three years to complete. The report... 

Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele and Minister Ebrahim Patel
Photo by Duane Daws
Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele and Minister Ebrahim Patel

Competition Commission approves buyout of ASA Metals' ferrochrome production assets

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th April 2017 The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed merger between ferrochrome producer ASA Metals and Newco. Newco is a newly created joint venture between Sinosteel and Samancor. Sinosteel operates globally in the production, supply and procurement of a... 

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