Legal Articles and Guides
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.
Details of the multimillion-rand broadcasting deal between the SABC and MultiChoice may never be made public if the two companies get their way in the Constitutional Court, notes a Business Day report. The five-year agreement entered into by the two entities in 2013 resulted in the SABC pocketing more than R500m in exchange for extensive rights to its archived content, with an added pact that MultiChoice would not encrypt SABC TV channels when the country migrates to digital terrestrial television.
Standard Bank’s efforts to obtain records of the Competition Commission’s probe into collusion among currency traders at 18 banks were thwarted yesterday after the Competition Tribunal ruled it was not entitled to such records, notes a Business Day report. Given ‘the length of the record, the extent of the confidential information in it and the burden it would place on the commission in preparing it, a reasonable time for production would be at the same time as discovery is made in the (foreign exchange) case’, the tribunal said.
One of the largest owners of SA shopping centres, Resilient Reit, asserted at a Competition Commission inquiry yesterday that exclusivity clauses served no purpose for landlords or the general economy and should be outlawed in SA. A Business Day report says the company’s Johann Kriek made this submission when he answered questions on how leases varied between anchor tenants and line stores as well as how shopping centres supported retailers by bringing foot traffic to towns.
The Competition Appeal Court has given Johnny Copelyn’s Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) the all clear to restructure the gaming interests held by its listed subsidiaries Tsogo Sun and Niveus, says a Business Day report. Just hours before HCI’s self-imposed deadline of 31 October, the court released a decision that could upend 20 years of competition law precedence.
The Competition Commission has been asked to investigate possible collusion and uncompetitive practices related to Eskom coal contracts in a request implicating Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Shanduka Trust. A Business Day report says the newspaper has seen the written request for the investigation, but the complainant sought to remain anonymous.
Vodacom is being investigated by the Competition Commission for a tender it won with the National Treasury to provide cellphone contracts to 20 government departments, notes a TimesLIVE report. The telecommunication company was to be the exclusive provider of contracts to staff of at least 20 departments from September last year until 2020. The commission has said this exclusive contract may contravene the Competition Act and was the possible abuse of a dominant position.
Optic fibre is bringing “superfast broadband” to an exponentially-increasing number of South African homes and businesses. And competition in the field is fierce. Which is great for us as consumers, but if you live or work in a “community scheme” there’s a catch. How does your chosen supplier physically run fibre cabling to your individual properties?
The National Funeral Practitioners Association of SA‚ comprising about 300 members‚ said that parlours have had to shut their doors since the RAF introduced a panel of preferred undertakers to conduct the funerals of accident victims. According to a TimesLIVE report association secretary-general Nkosentsha Shezi said: ‘When a family has claimed from RAF for the funeral of a relative that has died in an accident‚ the fund gives the family two choices – you either take the funeral parlour that we are going to give you or you conduct the funeral using a parlour of your choice but we are not going to pay for your claim.’
The plans of Hosken Consolidated Investment’s (HCI) to restructure gaming assets held in two of its subsidiaries, Tsogo Sun and Niveus, have been stalled following a ruling by the Competition Tribunal that will require HCI to seek competition approval for the planned restructuring. A Business Day report says the ruling was issued just 36 hours before Niveus and Tsogo Sun shareholders were due to vote on the restructuring.
Eleven furniture removal companies and their association are facing prosecution in the Competition Tribunal for price fixing, involving the e-tolls levy they charge customers whose goods are transported across Gauteng highways, according to a BusinessLIVE report. An investigation by the Competition Commission, launched in February, disclosed that the furniture removal companies agreed to add a levy of R350 to the amount they charged to their customers transporting furniture on Gauteng highways that had e-tolls.
While Mzwanele Manyi believes his acquisition of the Gupta-owned media assets is a done deal, it is still unclear whether the Competition Commission needs to sign off on it, says a Business Day report. Manyi – who bought the Guptas’ Infinity Media and The New Age – said yesterday the deal had been finalised and it was just the technical issues, such as informing the commission, that were outstanding.
Furniture removal firm Stuttaford Van Lines was yesterday charged with 649 counts of collusive tendering related to hundreds of government tenders issued for furniture transportation. A Fin24 report says the Competition Commission, which referred the firm to the Tribunal after it completed its investigation, said it was the highest number of charges ever recorded in anti-cartel enforcement by the commission.
Rooibos Limited, which controls 70% of the global rooibos tea market, could face a class action suit by other local processors if it is found guilty of abusing its market dominance, says Nick Altini, a competition lawyer with Baker McKenzie. According to a Business Day report, Altini said if Rooibos Limited admitted a contravention of the Competition Act and settled with the Competition Commission, other local processors could launch damages claims against Rooibos Limited.
SA’s top retailers were accused at the Competition Commission’s first public hearings on the retail market in Pretoria yesterday of anti-competitive behaviour in townships, says a Business Day report. Louis Greeff – MD of independent buying group Elite Star Trading Africa – accused Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Spar and Massmart of profiteering from smaller independent players in the townships.