The Competition Commission has referred to the Competition Tribunal the prosecution of beef processing companies Irvin & Johnson (I&J) and Karan Beef for alleged cartel conduct.
The two companies have been charged with dividing markets in the supply of processed beef products, such as beef burger patties, steak sizzlers, crumbed beef steaklets, viennas and boerewors.
The charges follow an investigation initiated by the commission in September 2017.
The investigation found that from 2000 until recently, Karan Beef and I&J maintained a manufacturing agreement in terms of which Karan Beef would stop producing certain processed beef products for its own account and produce on behalf of I&J.
The agreement further entailed that Karan Beef should not sell certain of its processed beef products, which were reserved for I&J, to certain customers.
Karan Beef has subsequently admitted guilt and settled with the commission, by agreeing to pay an administrative penalty of R2.7-million.
The commission has asked the tribunal to impose an administrative penalty of 10% of yearly turnover on I&J.