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Competition Policy News

Construction cartels could learn fate in June

By: Sapa     23rd April 2013 Construction cartels could learn their fate as early as June, the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) told MPs on Tuesday. Briefing Parliament's public works committee, CIDB chairman Bafana Ndendwa said he was updated by the Competition Commission last week on a probe into the major... 

Aspen acquires Nestlé SA infant nutrition division for $215m 

By: Natalie Greve     18th April 2013 Aspen Group has acquired Nestlé South Africa’s infant nutrition businesses, which distribute a portfolio of infant nutrition products in Australia and certain Southern African territories, for $215-million. This came shortly after the Competition Tribunal earlier this year approved, with... 

Competition Tribunal gearing up for May polypropylene excessive-pricing hearing 

By: Terence Creamer     12th April 2013 The Competition Tribunal will begin hearings on May 13 into an excessive-pricing referral made by the Competition Commission in 2010 against Sasol regarding the sale of propylene and polypropylene to domestic plastic converters between 2004 and the end of 2007. It is understood that four weeks... 

Afgri, Senwes merger given Tribunal thumbs up

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th April 2013 The Competition Tribunal has given a conditional go-ahead for agriculture firms Afgri Operations and Senwes to merge their retail assets. The two firms will form a 50:50 joint venture (JV) combining their respective farming requisite retail stores, as well as Afgri wholesale subsidiary Partrite. 

The benefits and pitfalls of the Competition Commission’s new investigative powers

By: Samantha Herbst     12th April 2013 After languishing in limbo since August 2009, the Competition Amendment Act is in the spotlight again, following the promulgation of Section 6 of the Act, which grants the Competition Commission the power to conduct market inquiries without a formal complaint against a specific company. While... 

The benefits and pitfalls of the Competition Commission’s new investigative powers

By: Samantha Herbst     12th April 2013 After languishing in limbo since August 2009, the Competition Amendment Act is in the spotlight again, following the promulgation of Section 6 of the Act, which grants the Competition Commission the power to conduct market inquiries without a formal complaint against a specific company.  

Minister appoints two commissioners

By: Sapa     25th March 2013 Two deputy commissioners have been appointed to serve six month terms on the Competition Commission, the economic development department said on Monday. "The two new deputy commissioners are advocate Oliver Josie and Trudi Makhaya," it said in a statement. 

Competition Tribunal confirms settlement agreements

By: Natalie Greve     22nd March 2013 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed two settlement agreements; one between the Competition Commission and Air Products South Africa and the other between the commission and MVA Bricks. As part of the settlement agreement, in February, Air Products South Africa agreed to pay an administrative... 

Commission to proceed with private healthcare market inquiry

By: Samantha Herbst     13th March 2013 The Competition Commission confirmed on Wednesday that it would proceed with a market inquiry into the private healthcare sector amid concerns about pricing, costs and the state of competition and innovation in private healthcare. Manager of the commission’s advocacy and stakeholder relations... 

Air Products SA agrees to R2.76m administrative penalty

By: Creamer Media Reporter      28th February 2013 Industrial and speciality gas manufacturer and supplier Air Products South Africa has agreed to pay an administrative penalty of about R2.76-million to South Africa’s competition authorities. This was part of a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission, in terms of which Air Products... 

Socialism leads to poor investments that deprive citizens of services – Maltsev  

By: Schalk Burger     1st February 2013 Socialism leads to poor investment of public funds, depriving the most vulnerable people of valuable services, says US Carthage College Professor Yuri Maltsev, who was also one of a team of Soviet economists that worked on President Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika reform packages. A private... 

Proposed empowerment policy could worsen corruption, warns financial services firm

By: Natalie Greve     28th January 2013 The implementation of a proposed law to ensure that a minimum of 30% of public- and private-sector procurement spend is awarded to black businesses would discourage competitive behaviour and exacerbate corruption, financial services firm Lion of Africa Insurance CEO Adam Samie has said. 

Industrial automation company approaches competition authorities for relief

By: Schalk Burger     25th January 2013 A local industrial automation company alleges that two larger companies, which supply it with business-critical products, acting in concert have refused to provide it with the necessary products in an attempt to eliminate it as competition and take over its customers and market share. Local... 

Glencore, Xstrata merger given SA nod with jobs condition

By: Terence Creamer     22nd January 2013 South Africa’s Competition Tribunal has approved the implementation of the $33-billion merger between Glencore and Xstrata, subject to a condition limiting post-merger retrenchments. The merger was notified to competition authorities in multiple jurisdictions after it was unveiled last year,... 

Lack of spectrum, high prices affecting broadband access

By: Schalk Burger     14th December 2012 A lack of spectrum allocation means that many mobile network operators had to ‘refarm’ their spectrum of frequencies to supply the increasing demand for broadband, said mobile operator Vodacom group CEO Shameel Joosub at a Gordon Institute of Business Science seminar, in November. Vodacom’s... 

Foodcorp fined R88.5m for collusion 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th December 2012 South African food manufacturer Foodcorp has been fined an administrative penalty of R88.5-million, or 10% of the affected turnover of its 2010 milling division, the Competition Commission reported on Thursday. The commission has reached a settlement with the company in two separate cartel cases... 

October says industrialisation requires back-to-basics approach

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th December 2012 Africa’s regional economic integration could be achieved through industrialisation, but a “back-to-basics” approach was required, particularly for South Africa, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) director-general Lionel October said. He said that Africa’s underdevelopment was partly owing to... 

Competition Commission seeks maximum penalty as probe unearths diesel price fixing 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     24th October 2012 The Competition Commission has referred a case of alleged price fixing and market division in the supply of diesel to the Competition Tribunal for adjudication and has called for the maximum penalties to be imposed on Chevron South Africa, Engen, Shell South Africa, Total South Africa, Sasol and... 

Greater collaboration urged as SA moves towards multiparticipant power market

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2012 Effective collaboration in the energy and electricity sector, between independent power producers and government, is necessary to overcome hurdles in the sector, says legal firm Werksmans Attorneys director Greg Nott. 

Lack of infrastructure, regulation hampering SA’s data industry

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2012 There is an explosion of data across telecommunications networks in private and business environments, which is expected to continue, says Internet protocol communications company Internet Solutions product strategy head Brian Pinnock. 

Telkom to appeal R449m fine

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th August 2012 Telecommunications group Telkom on Thursday reported that it had moved to have a Competition Tribunal-imposed fine of R449-million set aside. Earlier this month, the tribunal slapped Telkom with the fine after finding the JSE-listed group guilty of charging excessive prices and engaging in... 

CIC, Jindal merger receives competition approval

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th August 2012 The Botswana Competition Authority has approved the proposed acquisition of TSX-listed CIC Energy by India-based Jindal Steel and Power. CIC Energy, which would be merged with Jindal Steel & Power subsidiary Jindal BVI, also secured shareholder approval for the C$116-million transaction. 

Emerging economies will need creativity to navigate the vagaries of the ‘new normal’

By: Schalk Burger     24th August 2012 The current global financial environment may be the typical financial environment that companies will have to learn to navigate, say market consultancy Frontier Advisory director Abdullah Verachia and senior associate Katherine Tweedie. 

Zambian court ruling generates questions around trademark protection

10th August 2012 A Zambian Supreme Court ruling in April, which does away with trademark protection that companies operating in Zambia have relied on, could have a ripple effect in other African jurisdictions. 

NRCS finds no evidence of substandard cement imports

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th August 2012 The National Regulator for Compulsory Standards (NRCS) has found no evidence of substandard cement imported into the South African market, said acting CEO and GM Thomas Madzivhe on Tuesday. Speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria, he stated that, despite complaints by a local cement producer... 

Court dismisses appeal against Omnia, Yara

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     28th June 2012 The Constitutional Court this week dismissed a direct appeal by the Competition Commission against a decision by the Competition Appeal Court in a ten-year cartel complaint of collusion against fertiliser producers and Omnia Fertiliser and Yara South Africa. Costs were awarded to Omnia and... 

Govt, IDC launch single point for incentives information  

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th June 2012 Government and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on Tuesday launched an online portal to provide local businesses access to information and assistance on government incentives. The portal would supply businesses “all the information they need on what is out there to help them sharpen... 

SA’s Competition Commission downgraded in global survey

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     1st June 2012 South Africa’s Competition Commission has fallen to three stars in the Global Competition Review’s 11th yearly survey from three-and-a-half last year, owing to a number of defeats in the courts and concerns about its independence. The survey, which was made public on Friday, tracked the... 

Pharmaceuticals giants go head-to-head for intellectual property rights

By: Samantha Herbst     25th May 2012 The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), last month, ruled in favour of pharmaceutical giant Adcock Ingram over a trademark dispute with competitor Cipla Medpro. 

Oceana fined R34.75m for price fixing

9th May 2012 The Competition Commission has concluded a settlement with the Oceana Group and Oceana Brands, collectively know as Oceana, regarding a number of price fixing and market allocation contraventions within the pelagic fish industry. The commission said in a statement on Wednesday that Oceana had... 

RMS, Vulcania fined in mesh wire cartel case

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th May 2012 The Competition Tribunal has ordered Reinforcing Mesh Solutions (RMS) and Vulcania Reinforcing to pay penalties of R21.6-million and R5.6-million respectively for price-fixing and customer allocation. The Competition Commission said on Tuesday it initiated an investigation in 2008, when BRC Mesh... 

Businesses urged to proactively familiarise themselves with consumer law

By: Schalk Burger     4th May 2012 Businesses in South Africa must proactively familiarise themselves with the Consumer Protection Act to limit their risks to consumer rights and must also understand that the Act is not one-sided and provides them with a number of substantial rights as well as responsibilities, says business legal... 

FDI into Africa seen growing as investor confidence improves

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd May 2012 The perception of Africa as an attractive investment destination was expected to improve over the next three years, a survey by advisory services company Ernst & Young (E&Y) has found. In its ‘Building bridges: the 2012 Africa attractiveness report', E&Y stated that 73% of the respondents said... 

Ban Ki-moon appoints PIC’s Masilela to UNGC board

23rd April 2012 United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has appointed the CEO of South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) board. Elias Masilela would be expected, besides others, to serve as a champion of the UNGC and its missions for a period of three... 

Cement institute told to delay sales figures 

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th April 2012 The Competition Commission has ordered the South African Cement and Concrete Institute (C&CI) to only disseminate cementitious sales as a national, quarterly figure with a three-month delay, rather than monthly statistics. The commission issued a directive on Tuesday prohibiting all cement... 

DTI defends steel exclusion from preferential procurement plans

By: Henry Lazenby     4th April 2012 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday defended its decision to exclude certain steel products from the government’s preferential procurement regulations, which came into effect in December. Government designated sectors such as rolling stock and power pylons for local... 

Water Affairs wants suppliers to register 

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd April 2012 The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) said on Monday that it was in the process of updating its supplier database to allow potential suppliers equal opportunities. To this end, the DWA requested all suppliers of goods and services to register on the department’s database by April 20 to ensure... 

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