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Competition Policy News

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... 

Competition Amendment Bill moves to give teeth to market inquiry instrument

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2017 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel released the Competition Amendment Bill for public comment on Friday, indicating that he expects the proposed legislation to be placed before lawmakers during the first half of 2018. The amendments, which were drafted with the assistance of an expert... 

Competition Amendment Bill moves to give teeth to market inquiry instrument
Photo by Duane Daws
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

SA lacking global competitiveness

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th November 2017 Local legislation, including stringent policy frameworks, continues to prove cumbersome for the South African construction sector, particularly owing to the necessity to conduct socioeconomic- and environmental-impact assessments, as well as obtain approval from the respective government... 

SA lacking global competitiveness
SOCIOECONOMIC BENEFITS Authorities would do well to accelerate the pace of affordable housing delivery, such as Reconstruction and Development Programme housing

Upcoming competition law amendments to focus on economic concentration

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2017 The chairperson of the Ministerial advisory panel set up to propose ways of strengthening the Competition Act to deal with “persistently high levels of economic concentration” in the South African economy says the draft legislation should be released for public comment during November. Addressing... 

Upcoming competition law amendments to focus on economic concentration
Photo by Duane Daws
Competition Appeal Court Judge President Dennis Davis

Tribunal confirms R4.35m settlement with Godrich Flour Mills

By: Anine Kilian     31st October 2017 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a settlement agreement with Godrich Flour Mills for price fixing in the market for milled white maize products. Godrich has agreed to pay R4.35-million for participating in a cartel that colluded with other maize milling firms to fix the price of milled... 

Sub-Saharan Africa sets another record for number of business reforms

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st October 2017 Sub-Saharan African countries have set a new record, for the second consecutive year, for the number of business reforms undertaken during 2016/17, a new World Bank report shows. The ‘Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs’ report, now in its fifteenth year, reported that 83 business... 

Sub-Saharan Africa sets another record for number of business reforms

Sasol mitigates material matters issues in 2017

27th October 2017 To mitigate material matters that could substantially affect its ability to create value in the short, medium or long term, as a result of not being able to execute its strategy and the impact thereof on its ability to stay competitive, petrochemicals giant Sasol has outlined a five-step process... 

Sasol mitigates material matters issues in 2017
MANAGING MATTERS Sasol reviews and monitors material matters through stakeholder inclusiveness always keeping a sustainability context in mind

Fresh produce market agents, association referred to Competition Tribunal for prosecution

By: Schalk Burger     11th October 2017 Fourteen fresh produce market agents and association, the Institute for Market Agents of South Africa, have been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution in relation to charges of alleged price-fixing and fixing trading conditions in contravention of the Competition Act, the... 

Radical? Really?

By: Keith Campbell     29th September 2017 Roughly in the middle of this month (September), speaking on the sidelines of the Annual General Meeting of his luxury goods businesses holding company, Switzerland-based Compagnie Financière Richemont, in Geneva, businessman Johann Rupert, generally regarded as South Africa’s richest man, said... 

Competition Commission welcomes merger filing fees increase, new merger threshold determination

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th September 2017 The Competition Commission on Monday lauded the planned increase in merger filing fees for intermediate and large mergers, as well as the new determination of merger thresholds, both effective October 1. This followed Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel’s gazetting of the amendments to... 

Commission refers case of division of markets against Beefcor, CFP to tribunal

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th September 2017 The Competition Commission has referred a division of markets case against Beefcor and Cape Fruit Processors (CFP) to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution. It is alleged that the two companies had agreed not to compete with each other in the processing of wet peels and citrus peel pulp, which... 

Furniture removal companies face price-fixing charges over e-toll levy 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th September 2017 Eleven furniture removal companies and the movers’ association to which they belong face prosecution by the Competition Tribunal for alleged price fixing, involving the e-tolls levy they charge customers who transport belongings on Gauteng highways.   The accused are Northern Provinces... 

Second international car shipping company faces prosecution by tribunal 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th September 2017 Norwegian car shipping company Hoegh Autoliners has been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on seven charges relating to alleged collusive tendering, price fixing and market division.   The charges stem from a probe into alleged widespread anticompetitive conduct in the market... 

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... 

Boost Competition Act to address concentration, stimulate transformation – Ramaphosa
Photo by Duane Daws
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

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... 

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

Locally produced engineering steel declining
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

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