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Competition Policy News

Competition Commission wins international award

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th April 2018 The Competition Commission has won the Agency of the Year in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa award at the eighth annual Global Competition Review (GCR) Awards held in Washington DC, in the US.  

Commission’s LPG Market Inquiry recommendation yields positive outcomes

By: Simone Liedtke     12th April 2018 The Competition Commission has accepted the withdrawal of a complaint by propellants supplier Puregas against liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) manufacturer and supplier Shell Downstream for unfair business practices, after Puregas was able to secure a supply agreement on favourable terms.   In... 

Extreme inequality in South Africa is constraining growth and investment  

By: Terence Creamer     10th April 2018 New analysis by the World Bank has confirmed that South Africa’s is not only the world’s most unequal country, but that extreme inequality has become a major constraint to higher levels of economic growth, because it is undermining policy certainty and depressing investment. The bank’s latest... 

Extreme inequality in South Africa is constraining growth and investment
World Bank program leader Sebastien Dessus and country director Paul Noumba Um on the negative impact that extreme inequality in South Africa is having on growth and investment. Camera Work & Editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded: 10.4.2018

Motseng agrees to R200 000 penalty for bid rigging in fabric supply tenders

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th April 2018 The Competition Tribunal on Wednesday confirmed a consent agreement with Motseng Investment Holdings to pay a R200 000 penalty with its now-closed subsidiary Motseng Trading, for the subsidiary’s involvement in the bid rigging of tenders issued by the National Treasury and the Armaments... 

Tribunal approves AECI’s R2.27bn buyout of Much Asphalt

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd April 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved AECI’s proposed acquisition of asphalt manufacturer and supplier Much Asphalt without conditions, despite the merging parties’ vertical relationship. AECI announced in October 2017 that it would acquire Much Asphalt for R2.27-billion. 

Caffeluxe admits to fixing coffee capsule prices

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd March 2018 Sweet River Trading, which trades as Caffeluxe, has admitted to fixing the prices of coffee capsules to retail customers. The complaint, which was initiated in July 2015, relates to a discount offered by international coffee specialist Global Coffee Export in Checkers stores in 2014, where... 

Minister seeks better monitoring of local procurement compliance

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th March 2018 South Africa has seen a slippage in State entities’ compliance with local procurement regulations, which the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) seeks to rectify by introducing a tougher consequence management system. Trade and IndustryMinister Dr Rob Davies said on Thursday that corruption... 

Minister seeks better monitoring of local procurement compliance
Photo by Creamer Media
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies

Regulation still a constraint, despite potential benefits of IoT

By: Schalk Burger     14th March 2018 The regulatory framework and new regulations governing the applications and use of new technologies is still restrictive and does not make allowance for Internet of Things (IoT) use cases that can improve efficiencies and benefit civil society, speakers at the IoT Forum Africa, in Midrand, said... 

Commission refers Takata to tribunal for alleged price fixing, collusive tendering

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th March 2018 The Competition Commission has asked the Competition Tribunal to prosecute global airbag and seatbelt manufacturer Takata Corporation and its South African subsidiary Takata South Africa (SA) for alleged price fixing, market division and collusive tendering. An investigation by the commission... 

Tribunal approves Sinopec’s $900m acquisition of Chevron SA with conditions

By: Nadine James     9th March 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved Hong Kong-based Sinopec’s proposed $900-million acquisition of a 75% interest in Chevron South Africa (CSA), subject to a range of employment, investment and other public interest conditions. Sinopec and CSA had tendered a set of proposed conditions, which... 

Commission approves Thebe Renewable Energy’s acquisition of four energy firms

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th March 2018 The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that Thebe Renewable Energy Holdings’s proposed acquisition of Phembani Solar Energy, Phembani Renewables, Shanduka Black Umbrellas Energy and Pulida Energy, be approved.  

Competition Commission prohibits Airlink-Safair merger, companies to challenge ruling

By: African News Agency      23rd February 2018 The Competition Commission on Friday said that it prohibited the proposed merger between SA Airlink and Safair Operations because the transaction was likely to result in a substantial prevention of competition. SA Airlink is the largest independent regional airline in southern Africa and operates... 

Tribunal confirms Plasser’s R8.43m settlement with Competition Commission

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed an R8.43-million settlement agreement between railway construction and maintenance company Plasser South Africa and the Competition Commission.    On February 2014, the commission initiated a complaint against Lennings DEC Rail, a subsidiary of Aveng Africa,... 

Tribunal approves sale of Genrec to Southern Palace

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved Southern Palace Group’s (SPG’s) acquisition of Genrec from Murray & Roberts (M&R). M&R in October last year agreed to sell Genrec to SPG for R185-million. 

Tribunal conditionally approves Timrite’s acquisition of mining support bag manufacturer

21st February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved, with conditions, mining support product supplier Timrite’s acquisition of Tufbag’s Mining Bag division. Tufbag’s Mining Bag division and Timrite design and manufacture polypropylene-based mining support (PBMS) bags.   Concerns were raised by the Competition... 

Tribunal approves Barnes Southern Palace's acquisition of Scaw

By: Simone Liedtke     19th February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has conditionally approved the transaction, in terms of which holding company Barnes Southern Palace plans to acquire Scaw South Africa from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). To address information sharing concerns, the transaction was approved subject to a... 

Commission recommends tribunal approve Southern Palace Group's Genrec buy

By: Simone Liedtke     19th February 2018 The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that Southern Palace Group's (SPG's) proposed acquisition of steel fabrication and manufacturing business Genrec Engineering, from construction and engineering company Murray and Roberts, be approved without conditions. SPG,... 

Cryptocurrencies speculative, but blockchain can bring positive disruption – S&P’s

By: Schalk Burger     19th February 2018 Global ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P’s) currently views cryptocurrencies as speculative instruments that will have an “insignificant effect on global financial stability if its value were to collapse”, but that blockchain – a shared digital transaction ledger – presents an opportunity... 

Media companies fined for price-fixing 

By: Simone Liedtke     16th February 2018 Two print media companies have concluded consent agreements with the Competition Commission and agreed to pay fines amounting to millions of rands after admitting to participating in price fixing and the fixing of trading conditions in contravention of the Competition Act. The two separate... 

Tribunal approves amendment to payment terms of AMSA’s R1.5bn settlement agreement

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved a variation agreement allowing ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) to pay the first R300-million instalment of its R1.5-billion fine in three tranches.   In late 2016, AMSA concluded a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission in terms of which it... 

Commission seeks penalty against SA Airlink for alleged predatory pricing

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th February 2018 The Competition Commission has referred regional feeder airline SA Airlink to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on charges of alleged excessive and predatory pricing. The commission initiated an investigation into SA Airlink’s conduct with regard to the Johannesburg–Mthatha route after... 

Competition Tribunal dismisses Massmart complaint

By: Anine Kilian     13th February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has dismissed a complaint by Walmart-owned Massmart that exclusivity agreements between other retailers and landlords are excluding its Game stores from selling fresh grocery products. The Tribunal, for a second time, on Tuesday upheld arguments made by Shoprite Checkers,... 

AfriBusiness believes new competition legislation will harm large businesses

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th February 2018 The proposed Competition Amendment Bill will transform South Africa's competition authorities into instruments for black economic empowerment (BEE), argues business lobby AfriBusiness. CEO Piet le Roux said the Amendment Bill was "explicitly crafted with transformation in mind. It significantly... 

Tribunal to consider Sinopec's $900m deal to acquire 75% of Chevron South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     7th February 2018 The Competition Tribunal will, on Thursday, consider the proposed $900-million buyout by China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) subsidiary SOIHL HK of a 75% interest in Chevron South Africa (CSA). Sinopec is a significant Chinese manufacturer and supplier of petroleum and... 

Competition Commission exposes alleged collusion in R4.5bn Eskom tender

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th February 2018 A Competition Commission investigation has found evidence of alleged price fixing and collusive tendering, involving an Eskom tender worth R4.5-billion, on the part of Waco Africa, acting through its division SGB Cape, as well as Tedoc Industries, Mtsweni Corrosion Control and Superfecta Trading.... 

Plasser agrees to pay R8.4m penalty for collusion

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th February 2018 Railway construction and maintenance company Plasser South Africa has agreed to pay R8.4-million in a settlement penalty after admitting to partaking in collusion. The Competition Commission on Tuesday said it reached a settlement agreement with the company, which provides railway line track... 

Commission recommends conditional Barnes Southern Palace, Scaw merger approval

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th January 2018 The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed transaction, with conditions, whereby Barnes Southern Palace intends to acquire steel maker Scaw from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Barnes Southern Palace is a consortium involving the... 

Unitrans, Action Ford deal gets competition authority thumbs up

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th January 2018 The Competition Tribunal has conditionally approved a merger whereby Unitrans Automotive, wholly-owned by Steinhoff International Holdings, acquires Action Ford's vehicle dealership business. The merging parties have given an undertaking that there will be no retrenchments for a period of two... 

Tribunal refuses to confirm consent agreement between commission, ammonia producers

By: Anine Kilian     29th January 2018 The Competition Tribunal has refused to confirm a consent agreement entered into between the Competition Commission and AECI, Foskor, Omnia Fertilizers and Sasol South Africa, on the basis of irrationality. The respondents are equal partners in an ammonia terminal facility, the RAMM facility, in... 

Woodlands Dairy, Fairfield Dairy merger conditionally approved

By: Anine Kilian     26th January 2018 The Competition Tribunal has conditionally approved a merger between Gutsche Family Investments, which controls Woodlands Dairy, and Fairfield Dairy. The companies manufacture and supply butter, cheese, cream, flavoured milk, Amasi and raw milk nationally.   The merging parties intend for the... 

DTI denies ‘rivalry’ with EDD over amendments to Competition Act

By: Terence Creamer     25th January 2018 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has denied reports of rivalry with the Economic Development Department over proposed amendments to the Competition Act, which its claims to support. In a statement released on Thursday, the department underlined its concern over the “excessive... 

DTI denies ‘rivalry’ with EDD over amendments to Competition Act

CompCom suspends advisory opinion services pending outcome of court case

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd January 2018 The Competition Commission has suspended its advisory opinion services pending the finalisation of the case against Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI). This follows a Competition Appeal Court (CAC) judgment ruling against the regulator on the matter. In August last year, HCI request the... 

Concerns raised over lack of policy framework for competition law changes 

By: Terence Creamer     19th January 2018 Concern has been expressed about the absence of a comprehensive competition policy framework to help guide proposed amendments to competition legislation and facilitate greater alignment with other government policies and programmes, such as the Industrial Policy Action Plan. In December,... 

Concerns raised over lack of policy framework for competition law changes
Wits Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management Dean Imraan Valodia, CCRED director Simon Roberts, Genesis Analytics’ James Hodge, DTI’s Garth Strachan, Advocate Michelle le Roux and the Competition Commission’s Liberty Mncube on proposed changes to the South Africa’s Competition Act and the lack of an overarching policy framework. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling. Recorded: 19.1.2018

Tribunal approves JV between three international shipping companies

By: Anine Kilian     17th January 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved, with conditions, the intermediate merger whereby Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (KL) intend to merge their container liner shipping businesses to form a joint venture (JV) in the shipping market. NYK,... 

Construction industry making progress with deals to transform the sector

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th January 2018 In a move that will see local construction companies further honour their agreements with government to ensure  inclusivity for black contractors in the South African construction sector, the Competition Commission has recommended a number of merger deals to the Competition Tribunal for approval.... 

Construction industry making progress with deals to transform the sector

ArcelorMittal, Competition Commission reach payment agreement

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th December 2017 Local steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has reached an agreement with the Competition Commission to divide its 2017 payment into three separate tranches of R100-million each. In 2016, the parties reached a settlement agreement after AMSA admitted to being involved in the long... 

Tribunal approves mergers involving seed, wheat milling companies

By: Anine Kilian     4th December 2017 The Competition Tribunal has approved the acquisition of seed and wheat milling companies Progress Milling and Noordfed by holding company K2014202010, a joint venture between Louis Dreyfus Company Africa (LDCA) and DH Brothers Industries Willowton.     The tribunal approved the transactions... 

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