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Competition Policy News

Tribunal orders Emfuleni municipality to provide documents to Cape Gate in excessive pricing matter

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th May 2024 The Competition Tribunal has ordered the Emfuleni local municipality to provide various documents to steel producer and electricity consumer Cape Gate, which alleges that the municipality excessively charged it for electricity in 2016/17. In its answering affidavit to the tribunal, the... 

Transnet aims to defend its decision to partner with ICTSI at the DCT

By: Darren Parker     29th April 2024 State-owned Transnet has defended its decision to select Phillipines-based International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) as the preferred bidder for the establishment of a partnership to manage the upgrade and development of Pier 2 at the Durban Container Terminal (DCT). Following the... 

DCT Pier 2

Tribunal approves Vitol’s buyout of Engen 

By: Darren Parker     25th April 2024 The Competition Tribunal has approved the proposed acquisition of petrol station brand Engen by independent energy marketing and trading company Vitol Emerald, subject to a set of competition and public interest conditions.   The tribunal’s order follows a hearing last month during which it heard... 

Typical Engen garage

Tribunal approves Afrimat, Lafarge merger with conditions 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th April 2024 The Competition Tribunal has conditionally approved the proposed large merger wherein Afrimat intends to acquire the entire issued share capital of Lafarge South Africa Holdings.   The tribunal’s decision follows a merger hearing held on April 5, during which it heard submissions from the... 

A truck transporting cement

Tribunal says it confirms settlement agreement with furniture removal companies

By: Sabrina Jardim     20th March 2024 The Competition Tribunal reports that furniture removal companies Stuttafords Van Lines and Pickfords Removals SA have admitted to involvement in a furniture removal cartel and agreed to pay an administrative penalty totalling R40-million. This forms part of the terms of a settlement agreement... 

Competition Commission to tackle economic concentration by large companies, Ramaphosa promises 

By: Darren Parker     20th March 2024 Government will be setting a target for the Competition Commission to undertake market inquiries in more strategic sectors of the economy over the next few years to address high levels of economic concentration by major companies and low participation by small- to medium-sized enterprises,... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

CAC decision on Sasol pricing opens way for Competition Commission to pursue prosecution 

By: Schalk Burger     6th March 2024 The Competition Appeal Court's (CAC's) decision to dismiss chemicals and energy company Sasol's application to review the Competition Commission’s investigation into alleged excessive pricing of natural piped gas paves the way for the commission to refer a case against Sasol Gas to the... 

Sasol's head office

Commission studying Appeal Court judgment for next course of action

By: Schalk Burger     11th January 2024 The Competition Commission is studying the Competition Appeal Court (CAC) judgment, handed down on January 8, and is consulting its legal team before deciding on the next course of action. The CAC upheld the appeals of 19 respondent banks against the decision of the Competition Tribunal on March... 

Commission welcomes Allens Meshco Group settlement confirmation

By: Schalk Burger     29th November 2023 The Competition Commission has welcomed the Competition Tribunal’s order confirming a settlement agreement between the commission and the Allens Meshco Group (AMG) in connection with alleged collusive conduct in the wire industry between 2001 and 2008. Under the terms of the agreement, AMG has... 

Standard Bank denies currency manipulation allegations

By: Darren Parker     27th November 2023 Financial services provider Standard Bank has denied manipulating the value of the rand and having any involvement in anticompetitive or criminal conduct, despite admitting fault before the Competition Tribunal and a follow-up statement issued by the National Treasury on November 24 that spelled... 

Shady bankers deal in front of standard bank logo

Tribunal prohibits AkzoNobel's proposed acquisition of Plascon entities in Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st November 2023 The Competition Tribunal has issued an order prohibiting the proposed merger of Amsterdam-based chemicals company AkzoNobel and paint and coatings manufacturers Kansai Plascon Africa (KPA) and Kansai Plascon East Africa. This comes a year after the Competition Commission prohibited the proposed... 

SCB to pay R42.7m penalty in exchange rate manipulation matter

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th November 2023 The Competition Commission reports that it has reached a settlement agreement with UK-based multinational bank Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), in which SCB admits liability to the manipulation of the US dollar and rand currency pair. The bank agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R42.7-million 

Commission recommends tribunal approve Afrimat's proposed buyout of Lafarge but with conditions

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th November 2023 The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed transaction whereby Afrimat intends to acquire Lafarge, with conditions. The commission found that the merger results in horizontal overlaps as regards general aggregates and ready-mix concrete and that... 

Competition Commission launches enquiry into media, digital platforms

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th October 2023 The Competition Commission on Tuesday officially launched its Media and Digital Platforms Market Inquiry (MDPMI) after publishing the final terms of reference (ToRs) for the a month ago. The MDPMI will investigate the distribution of media content on South Africa’s digital platforms, including... 

Tribunal prohibits Sasol’s sale of sodium cyanide business to Draslovka

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th October 2023 The Competition Tribunal has issued an order prohibiting the intermediate merger involving the sale of Sasol South Africa’s sodium cyanide business to a Czech Republic-based producer of sodium cyanide, Draslovka Holding, through its local subsidiary, Draslovka South Africa.   Sodium cyanide, a... 

Tribunal confirms settlement agreement with Unilever

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th October 2023 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed, as an order, a settlement agreement in terms of which fast-moving consumer goods firm Unilever South Africa has agreed, among others, to pay a R16-million administrative penalty. Unilever and Sime Darby Hudson Knight were accused by the Competition... 

Tshepe, Patel unpack Competition Commission’s new focus areas

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th September 2023 In her year as commissioner of the Competition Commission since September 1, 2022, Doris Tshepe has said, the entity has focused on price gouging conduct in various markets, which had become prevalent since the Covid-19 pandemic. Notably, the commission has zoomed in on the food, healthcare,... 

Competition Commission commissioner Doris Tshepe
Competition Commission commissioner Doris Tshepe

Competition Commission engages stakeholders on exchange of sensitive information

By: Cameron Mackay     11th August 2023 The Competition Commission on August 11 hosted a hybrid workshop for trade associations, business stakeholders and sector regulators in Fourways, Johannesburg, to raise awareness of the permissible exchanges of competitively sensitive information within the framework of the Competition Act. The... 

Gordhan welcomes Competition Tribunal ruling on SAA Takatso deal 

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th July 2023 The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has warmly welcomed the decision of the Competition Tribunal to approve the takeover of State-owned South African Airways (SAA) by the Takatso consortium. The tribunal did, however, impose conditions on the take-over, namely that there be a moratorium of... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
Photo by Reuters
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

BLSA CEO stresses need for govt cooperation in public sector professionalisation endeavour

By: Cameron Mackay     17th July 2023 Private business group Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busisiwe Mavuso has noted public announcements by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week that he would hold Ministers and deputy Ministers to account if they had not addressed, met and executed the priority areas that had been set... 

Commission reaches settlement with Unilever South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     13th July 2023 The Competition Commission has signed settlement agreement with fast-moving consumer goods company Unilever South Africa that settles a possible market division case against Unilever. In terms of the settlement agreement, Unilever has agreed to pay an administrative penalty in the amount of... 

Commission refers excessive pricing complaint against Sasol Gas to Tribunal

By: Schalk Burger     11th July 2023 The Competition Commission has referred a complaint of excessive pricing of natural piped gas against Sasol Gas to the Competition Tribunal. “The commission found that Sasol Gas extracted mark-ups of up to 72%. The excessive pricing has continued for almost a decade and is ongoing,” it said. 

Commission approves Volo’s acquisition of shares in Solar Capital De Aar

By: Schalk Burger     3rd July 2023 The Competition Commission has unconditionally approved investment holding company Volo’s acquisition of shares in Solar Capital De Aar from the Public Investment Corporation. Solar Capital De Aar is a special-purpose company whose sole business is to operate as an independent power producer. The... 

Cape Gate to pay R1.38m settlement, but does not admit to contravening the Competition Act

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th June 2023 The Competition Tribunal has approved, as an order, a settlement agreement whereby wire and steel manufacturer Cape Gate has agreed to pay a R1.38-million administrative penalty. The agreement settles the dispute between the Competition Commission and Cape Gate in terms of which the commission... 

SABS calls for local companies to implement whistleblowing management system

By: Cameron Mackay     26th June 2023 Statutory body the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has published South African National Standard (SANS) 37002 whistleblowing management systems — guidelines.  This document provides the framework and guidelines for any organisation to implement a whistleblowing management system based on... 

SABS has published SANS 37002 whistleblowing management systems — guidelines
SABS has published SANS 37002 whistleblowing management systems — guidelines

Competition Tribunal dismisses case of alleged corruption in Eskom tender

By: Cameron Mackay     22nd June 2023 Local regulatory body the Competition Tribunal has dismissed a case of collusive tendering through price fixing against four firms and three joint ventures (JVs) that participated in a 2015 Eskom tender. The tender was for the supply, transportation, delivery, installation and dismantling of... 

Solar energy firm agrees to pay Competition Commission penalty, but without admission of guilt

By: Schalk Burger     30th May 2023 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed, as an order, a consent agreement in which Gauteng-based solar energy firm Pacific Solar has agreed to pay a R200 000 administrative penalty after it was accused of collusion by the Competition Commission. Although Pacific Solar agrees to the terms of the... 

Tribunal interdicts Sasol Gas from increasing its prices for six months

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th May 2023 The Competition Tribunal has granted an interim relief application brought by the Industrial Gas Users’ Association of Southern Africa (IGUA-SA), interdicting Sasol Gas from increasing the price of piped natural gas above R68.39/GJ for the next six months.  Natural gas is an essential input for... 

Sasol's CPF pipeline

Tribunal finds it has jurisdiction for case involving alleged excessive pricing of electricity

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th May 2023 The Competition Tribunal has ruled that it does have jurisdiction to hear and decide a case in which a large producer of wire and steel products has accused a local municipality of charging it excessive prices for electricity. The steel products manufacturer Cape Gate self-referred a complaint to... 

Tata Chemicals fails to have 40% antidumping duty on US soda ash axed

By: Darren Parker     3rd May 2023 The High Court has upheld the decision by the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) to increase the imposition of antidumping duties from 8% to 40% on Indian chemical company Tata Chemicals’ importation of disodium carbonate, also known as soda ash, from the US.  The matter was... 

Steel industry inquiry to probe restrictions on competition in sector 

By: Schalk Burger     17th April 2023 The Competition Commission of South Africa has gazetted the draft terms of reference for a new market inquiry into the South African steel industry, which will examine whether or not there are any features or combination of features in its value chain that impede, distort or restrict competition... 

ArcelorMittal South Africa's Vanderbijlpark works

Heineken’s African purchase gets final antitrust body approval

By: Bloomberg     9th March 2023 Heineken's acquisition of South Africa’s biggest wine exporter got the final regulatory approval it needed, setting up the Dutch brewer for expansion across the continent. South Africa’s Competition Tribunal gave the deal with Distell Group Holdings the go-ahead with conditions, Heineken and... 

Super Group to form Esop as a condition to acquiring two companies – Tribunal

By: Schalk Burger     28th February 2023 JSE-listed logistics and mobility solutions company Super Group has received Competition Tribunal approval, with conditions, to acquire retail and supply chain audit verification company RSC Consulting Services and cleaning company Clean Tech 360. In line with the conditions imposed on the... 

Commission publishes competitively sensitive information sharing guidelines

By: Schalk Burger     28th February 2023 The Competition Commission has published guidelines on the exchange of competitively sensitive information following requests from various stakeholders, including businesses and industry associations, for it to clarify what constitutes permissible and impermissible information exchange. The... 

Distell’s African sales rise as Heineken waits to complete deal

By: Bloomberg     23rd February 2023 Distell Group boosted revenue in South Africa and across the continent as a deal between the country’s biggest wine exporter and Heineken NV continues to go through a regulatory approval process. While Heineken’s offer of about €2.3-billion for Distell has got support from local shareholders, the... 

Tribunal prohibits Corruseal, Neopak merger

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd February 2023 The Competition Tribunal on February 22 issued an order prohibiting the proposed intermediate merger between paper and packaging company Corruseal Group and recycled containerboard and paper company Neopak Holdings. The tribunal says its reasons for this decision will be issued in due course. 

Scope of commission's fresh produce market inquiry includes farming, retail sectors

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th February 2023 The Competition Commission has published the final terms of reference for the Fresh Produce Market Inquiry (FPMI), which is aimed at assessing whether there are any features in the fresh produce value chain that impede, restrict or distort competition in the market. The market inquiry will focus... 

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