Legal Articles and Guides
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.
The Competition Tribunal has confirmed that ArcelorMittal SA can pay off an initial R300m annual penalty in tranches of R100m, in the first year of five years paying off a R1.5bn fine imposed for market fixing. A Business Day report says the first payment due in November 2017 has already been paid, with subsequent payments due to be paid in April 2018 and July 2018.
SA Airlink has been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on charges of 'excessive and predatory pricing', the Competition Commission said yesterday. Business Report says this followed complaints lodged by businessman Khwezi Tiya, low cost carrier Fly Blue Crane, and the OR Tambo District Chamber of Business between 2015 and 2017 about the Johannesburg-Mthatha route.
The Competition Tribunal has dismissed Massmart’s complaint that Shoprite Checkers, Pick n Pay and Spar were taking part in anti-competitive behaviour through exclusive leases with shopping-mall landlords. In what a Business Day report describes as a blow to Massmart’s strategy to roll out fresh food at its Game stores in malls, the tribunal said that at best Massmart had relied on generalised contentions by some of its rivals in submissions to the retail-market inquiry by the Competition Commission.
Chevron’s branded marketers took aim at Chinese oil giant Sinopec at the Competition Tribunal yesterday, accusing Sinopec of failing to engage the marketers on its plans for Chevron SA, which Sinopec has agreed to buy for $900m.
A company which claims to have a business model to deal with the day to day administrative aspects of property transfers has run up against the legal fraternity, which says transfers in law are the preserve of conveyancers or legal practitioners, notes Legalbrief.
Proposed changes to the Competition Act place the independence of competition authorities at risk, and some of the proposed provisions may even be susceptible to constitutional challenges. A Moneyweb report notes lawyers and economists, including the former Competition Tribunal head David Lewis, have expressed concerns about the legal and commercial implications of the expanded powers given to the Competition Commission and the Minister of Economic Development in the Competition Amendment Bill.
The Competition Tribunal has refused to confirm a consent agreement reached between the Competition Commission and four chemicals companies after a five-year process because the agreement does not specify what aspect of the Competition Act was being contravened.
The Competition Tribunal’s hearing of banks accused of colluding in the foreign exchange market, which was scheduled to start on 24 January, has been delayed until further notice, says a BusinessLIVE report. The tribunal said in a statement yesterday that the Competition Commission had requested a postponement when it submitted a supplementary affidavit on 21 December, saying it intended to join new applicants.
Independent airline companies SA Airlink and Safair are planning a merger in which Airlink will acquire Safair, notes a Business Day report. The two companies said that they would file an application at the Competition Commission for approval to merge under the common umbrella of the Airlink group of companies.