Legal Articles and Guides
The ANC is concerned about the digital divide due to high data costs and has joined mobile data service providers in the call for ‘more spectrum’, says a Fin24 report. Noting ‘the cost of data in SA is significantly higher than other African countries’, the ANC's Phelisa Nkomo said the release of spectrum would lessen the network burden of operators. This submission was made on the third and final day of the Competition Commission’s Data Market Inquiry on Friday in Pretoria.
The Constitutional Court on Friday set aside a 2017 Competition Appeal Court ruling and said the Competition Commission is entitled to investigate whether a channel licensing agreement between the SABC and MultiChoice, dating from 2013, was in fact a notifiable merger.
Pepkor has gone to court to interdict the opening of a rival retailer, Mr Tekkie, started by former senior employees of its own brand, Tekkie Town, Die Burger reports. Pepkor says in its urgent application filed in the Western Cape High Court that it managed to recover deleted e-mails of former exective and Tekkie Town founder Braam van Huyssteen, allegedly proving a plot to influence Pepkor’s share price.
The Public Protector has postponed hearings into the horse racing industry in Gauteng after one of the interested parties, Phumelela Gaming and Leisure‚ obtained an interdict in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to have the hearings postponed until further notice.
The possibility of harsher punishment for cartel conduct should not be ignored, according to Ahmore Burger-Smidt, a director at Werksmans Attorneys. Amendments to the Competition Act came into effect on 1 May 2016, notes a Fin24 report. The amendments introduced criminal liability for directors and individuals with ‘management authority’ who are responsible for – or knowingly acquiesce – in cartel conduct.
After two days of hearings into the allegations of collusion by major banks, the Competition Commission remains confident of its case, says a Mail & Guardian Online report. Despite some banks arguing it is everything from ‘vexatious‘ to ‘so overwhelmed by its own case’ that it cannot keep track of the details, the commission remains determined to have the merits of the matter heard.
The Competition Commission has dealt a blow to British American Tobacco (BAT) SA’s plans to expand into e-cigarettes in SA with the acquisition of the biggest vaping company Twisp, and has blocked the deal on the grounds that it would substantially lessen competition, notes Business Day.
Foreign takeover bids deemed to be a threat to national security will be at risk of being blocked by a presidential committee, in terms of new competition rules to be debated in Parliament. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, this is one of a series of far-reaching changes to 20-year-old competition legislation which Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has tabled in Parliament.
Cape Town boat operators who colluded to inflate their prices for trips to Robben Island have been served with fines‚ according to the Competition Tribunal. It said an investigation by the Competition Commission was instituted after a complaint from the Robben Island Museum, according to a TimesLIVE report.
The Competition Appeal Court yesterday set aside a predatory pricing case involving a community newspaper owned by Media24. The company had been accused of engaging in predatory pricing to drive out independent publications in the Welkom area between January 2004 and February 2009, notes a Fin24 report.
Media24 has agreed to pay a R14m admission of guilt settlement, for price-fixing and fixing of trade conditions. An eNCA report says the media giant is one of 28 media companies that were referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution.
The Competition Commission has referred global vehicle safety component manufacturer Takata and its SA subsidiary to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution. A Business Day report notes the decision follows an investigation in which the commission found Takata was involved in ‘price fixing, market division and collusive tendering’ for components fitted to BMW X3, Honda Civic and CR-V and Toyota Yaris vehicles sold in SA.
The Competition Commission has said that 28 media companies, including the SABC, have been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on charges of price fixing and the fixing of trading conditions. A Cape Argus report says the matter relates to an investigation initiated in 2011 which found that – through the Media Credit Co-Ordinators (MCC) – various media companies agreed to offer similar discounts and payment terms to advertising agencies that place advertisements with MCC members.
The Competition Commission has prohibited the proposed merger between SA Airlink (Pty) Ltd and Safair Operations (Pty) Ltd, as the transaction was likely to result in a substantial prevention of competition. According to a report on The Citizen site, SA Airlink said it was disappointed to learn that the commission has declined to approve the merger, and it will challenge the decision.
The Competition Commission has fined two newspaper groups for collusion on the prices charged to advertisers. TimesLIVE says Caxton received a R5.8m fine and the Independent Group R2.2m. This follows a R22.3m fine handed to Naspers's pay-TV subsidiary DStv in May 2017, the commission said.