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Competition Policy News

Tribunal ratifies Citi's $5m FX rigging settlement

By: Reuters     26th April 2017 South Africa's Competition Tribunal on Wednesday confirmed a R69.5-million ($5.25-million) settlement with Citibank for its role in rigging rand currency trading, making the US bank the first among more than dozen banks named in a probe. The fine is less than 10% of Citibank's annual revenue in... 

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... 

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

Aspen welcomes DA-initiated price-fixing probe

By: African News Agency      24th April 2017 Aspen Pharmacare on Monday issued a statement welcoming reports that South Africa’s Competition Commission had agreed to take up a request from the country’s official opposition to investigate alleged anti-competitive conduct by the company. The South African pharmaceutical company said it... 

Competition commission says not pursuing pricing complaint against MTN, Vodacom 

By: Reuters     18th April 2017 South Africa's competition regulator has decided against pursuing a complaint of unfair pricing lodged against mobile phone giants MTN Group and Vodacom by smaller unlisted rival Cell C. Cell C made the complaint with the Competition Commission in 2013, accusing MTN and Vodacom of discriminatory... 

Baker McKenzie launches app to assist in case of antitrust dawn raids

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th April 2017 An application (app) that assists clients in navigating the coordinated dawn raids undertaken by competition authorities has been expanded to accommodate 44 countries, including South Africa. Multinational law firm Baker McKenzie’s Dawn Raid app delivers real-time step-by-step guidance on the... 

Competition Commission adds ten charges against Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th April 2017 Less than a week after referring Japanese company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line) to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution for collusive tendering, price fixing and market division, the Competition Commission has added ten more charges. The commission is also seeking administrative penalties of... 

Banks raise objections in South Africa's FX rigging case – sources

By: Reuters     7th April 2017 Some of the banks South African regulators have alleged rigged the rand currency say the case against them lacks specific detail about anti-competitive conduct and its impact, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. The banks have also questioned whether the country's Competition... 

Cesa backs Treasury in much-anticipated procurement standards overhaul

By: Simone Liedtke     7th April 2017 In its quest to mitigate the challenges that consulting engineers face, Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) CEO Chris Campbell says Cesa has developed a healthy working relationship with the National Treasury. 

Cesa backs Treasury in much-anticipated procurement standards overhaul
CHRIS CAMPBELL Cesa aims to be the body which all consulting engineering companies consider as the home of consulting engineering in South Africa

Competition Commission refers Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha to Tribunal

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th April 2017 The Competition Commission has lodged a complaint with the Competition Tribunal against Japanese company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha. The firm is one of four companies investigated by the commission and found to have been involved in a cartel transporting Toyota vehicles by sea to and from South Africa... 

Competition Commission pursues prosecution of seed potato supplier, agent 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     4th April 2017 The Competition Commission has asked the Competition Tribunal to prosecute Netherlands-based seed potato breeder HZPC Holland and its exclusive South African distributor Wesgro Potatoes for the alleged abuse of dominance in supplying Mondial seed potatoes varietal in the country. Wesgro has an... 

Afrimat referred to Tribunal for prosecution

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     3rd April 2017 The Competition Commission on Monday referred Afrimat, through its wholly owned subsidiary Clinker Supplies, to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution for allegedly abusing its dominance by charging excessive prices. Through the subsidiary, Afrimat is a supplier of a main ingredient in clinker... 

Afrimat referred to Tribunal for prosecution

Tribunal finds pipe manufacturers guilty of collusion

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th March 2017 The Competition Tribunal has found Dawn Consolidated Holdings (DCH), through its subsidiary DPI Plastics, and Sangio Pipes guilty of colluding to divide markets in South Africa between 2007 and 2012. The Competition Commission referred the collusion case against the two manufacturers of regular... 

Competition Commission extends fresh produce market agent raid to Cape Town, Durban 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th March 2017 The Competition Commission on Friday extended its search and seizure operation targeting fresh produce market agents, to premises in Cape Town and Durban. This followed its raid, on Thursday, of the premises of nine fresh produce market agents suspected of involvement in alleged cartel and... 

Competition Commission raids fresh produce market agents 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd March 2017 The Competition Commission on Thursday morning conducted a search and seizure operation at the premises of nine fresh produce market agents suspected of involvement in alleged cartel and price-fixing conduct in contravention of the Competition Act. The operation formed part of an investigation... 

Competition Commission raids fresh produce market agents

Commission welcomes Tribunal’s settlement agreement confirmation for Blinkwater

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th March 2017 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a R10.1-million price-fixing settlement agreement between Mpumalanga-based maize milling firm Blinkwater Mills and the Competition Commission, to be paid in three instalments within a year. Blinkwater has agreed to pay the fine, representing 5% of its 2007... 

Commission gets go-ahead to review evidence in margarine manufacturers cartel case

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th March 2017 The Competition Commission on Friday welcomed a High Court ruling in its favour to review evidence seized during an investigation into alleged cartel activity by five manufacturers of refined edible cooking oils, baking fats and margarine in South Africa. Early in March, DH Brothers Industries,... 

Tribunal reopens Allens Meshco case to determine penalty liability

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th March 2017 The Competition Tribunal has agreed to an application by the Competition Commission to reopen the long-running Allens Meshco case to obtain clarity on where to direct penalties should it be required. Following a request by the commission, the reopening of the case will provide the Competition... 

Mondi says European Commission inspecting its Vienna office

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th March 2017 Dual-listed Mondi on Tuesday confirmed that the European Commission is conducting an inspection at its Vienna office. In an update to shareholders, the company said it was fully cooperating with the investigation, which it understood was focused on kraft paper and industrial bags. 

Commission approves sale of M&R’s infrastructure and building platform

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th March 2017 The Competition Commission has approved the sale of Murray and Roberts’ (M&R’s) infrastructure and building (I&B) platform to Firefly Investments 319, without conditions. M&R has undergone a significant restructuring in recent years that will result in it exiting the general building and civil... 

World Bank urges South Africa to shift investment tax incentives to more labour-intensive sectors

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th March 2017 The World Bank on Monday urged South Africa to consider “reorienting” certain investment tax incentives towards more labour-intensive sectors such as construction, manufacturing, agriculture and trade to encourage private investment and bolster job creation in the muted growth environment. This... 

Commission refers alleged collusion case against shipping line to tribunal

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th March 2017 The Competition Commission of South Africa has referred a case of alleged price fixing, market division and collusive tendering against Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution. The commission alleged that the Japanese company, operating in South Africa, along with Mitsui... 

Extensive scope for remanufacture of locomotive components

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd March 2017 Owing to substantial investment by government in imported railway locomotives in recent years, as well as its goal to prioritise localisation, heavy diesel engine and component remanufacturers Metric Automotive Engineering says there is extensive scope for the local remanufacture of locomotive... 

Extensive scope for  remanufacture of  locomotive components
Photo by Bloomberg
LOCAL IS LEKKER South Africa’s developing its capacity to remanufacture locomotive engine components can enable it to become a hub to serve Africa

Commission refers Unilever, Sime Darby to tribunal for alleged cartel conduct 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     1st March 2017 The Competition Commission has referred a cartel case against Unilever South Africa and Sime Darby Hudson Knight to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, for the alleged division of markets in the bakery and cooking products sector in South Africa. The commission said the two companies had,... 

Commission asks tribunal to fine banks over alleged collusion

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th February 2017 The Competition Commission on Wednesday referred a case of collusion against a number of international banks for alleged price fixing to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution. This follows an investigation into a case of price fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency... 

PPC, AfriSam embark on second merger attempt in changed landscape

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th February 2017 Despite some tentative, mixed responses and competition authority uncertainty, PPC and AfriSam believe this is the right time for them to take another shot at merging in an environment primed for consolidation. Two years after abandoning the first attempt at a merger, PPC CEO Darryll Castle on... 

PPC, AfriSam embark on second merger attempt in changed landscape
Photo by Duane Daws
PPC CEO Darryll Castle

DTI steps in with task team amid poultry industry crisis

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd February 2017 The Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) action-focused government task team is in the process of identifying several interventions to resolve the current crisis surrounding poultry product dumping in South Africa’s market. The department is seeking out measures to boost trade,... 

DTI steps in with task team amid poultry industry crisis

Competition Commission prohibits cardboard manufacturers’ merger

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2017 The Competition Commission has prohibited packaging manufacturer Corruseal’s proposed acquisition of Boxlee and Pride Pak, as it is likely to substantially prevent or lessen competition. Corruseal owns varying interests in several businesses, most of which operate in the industry for the... 

Proposals on potential Competition Act changes could be released this year

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th January 2017 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel plans to release proposals regarding changes to the Competition Act during this year. In a written reply to a Parliamentary enquiry made by the Democratic Alliance’s Michael Cardo, Patel said this followed a further round of engagements with... 

Sneakers worth R8.7m seized at S Africa-Mozambique border

By: African News Agency      29th December 2016 The South African Revenue Service said on Wednesday that customs services at Lebombo border post had made a “massive seizure” of suspected counterfeit sneakers with a total value of R8.7-million early on Monday morning. A total of 9 085 pairs of sneakers carrying the Adidas brand and 1 850 pairs... 

Sneakers worth R8.7m seized at S Africa-Mozambique border

EDD transactions adds R10.8bn to local economy

By: Ilan Solomons     21st December 2016 Settlements concluded during the year by the Economic Development Department (EDD) has resulted in R10.8-billion being released back into the local economy. This included, among others, settlements with beer and cider giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), carbonated soft drink producer Coca-Cola... 

EDD transactions adds R10.8bn to local economy

Foodcorp asks for review of price-fixing charges against it

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th December 2016 The Competition Tribunal has given the Competition Commission until January 31, to provide clarity on some of the charges bought against one of four companies in the pelagic fish sector. The commission, in its complaint, alleged that Pioneer Fishing and local food company Foodcorp had entered... 

South Africa can learn from SADC neighbours about policy – Leon 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th December 2016 Despite being a small, agriculturally marginal, predominantly semi-arid, landlocked nation, Botswana has experienced rapid economic development, owing to the correct policies being in place. This, Herbert Smith Freehills Africa practice cochairperson and partner Peter Leon said, showed what can... 

South Africa can learn from SADC neighbours about policy – Leon
Photo by Duane Daws
Herbert Smith Freehills Africa practice cochairperson and partner Peter Leon

CompComm cracks down on oils, margarine manufacturers

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th December 2016 The Competition Commission on Thursday conducted a search and seizure operation at the premises of five South African companies involved in the manufacture and distribution of refined edible oils, baking fats and margarine, operating in Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal. The commission noted that it had... 

Committee concerned by lack of contracts in construction

By: Kimberley Smuts     11th November 2016 The lack of awareness among smaller, and so-called emerging building contractors in the civil engineering and construction industry about protecting their interests through proper contract documentation is alarming, says the Joint Building Contracts Committee (JBCC). “At least 100 000 people are... 

Committee concerned by lack  of contracts in construction
LOW STANDARD OF QUALIFICATIONS Emerging contractors lack communication and administrative skills

M&R to sell civil engineering unit as it agrees to settlement deal with government 

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2016 Construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) has confirmed its full participation in an agreement unveiled together with government on October 11, allowing for the settlement of potential claims arising from its much-publicised transgressions of South Africa’s competition laws. In return, the... 

M&R to sell civil engineering unit as it agrees to settlement deal with government
Photo by Duane Daws
M&R CEO Henry Laas

Construction giants reach transformative agreement with govt 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     11th October 2016 The South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, together with national government, on Tuesday signed an agreement with several construction companies, including Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO), Aveng, Murray & Roberts, Group Five, Basil Read, Raubex and Stefanutti Stocks, to accelerate... 

Construction giants reach transformative agreement with govt
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