Legal Articles and Guides
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.
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.