Legal Articles and Guides
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.
The City of Cape Town is claiming victory in its case against one of the construction companies involved in collusion in the building of Cape Town Stadium after the court dismissed WBHO Construction’s objection and ordered it to pay the city’s legal costs.
The banks and individual traders identified in the Competition Commission’s referral to the Competition Tribunal do not face the prospect of criminal sanction by the competition authorities even if found guilty of price-fixing and market manipulation in the foreign exchange market, says a Business Day report. The Competition Act was amended with effect from May 2016 to provide for criminal sanctions to be imposed on individuals for certain competition law contraventions such as those identified in the commission’s referral.
The Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) has awarded Comair R1.16bn for anti-competitive conduct by national carrier SAA‚ Comair said yesterday, according to a TimesLIVE report. The judgment related to a case initiated by Comair against SAA 14 years ago in respect of SAA’s anti-competitive travel agent incentive schemes. Comair is the second airline to succeed in a claim against SAA concerning the national airline's anti-competitive conduct.
Uber has welcomed the Competition Commission’s decision not to refer a complaint against it by the metered taxi industry to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, says a Business Day report. Uber’s Samantha Allenberg said the company was pleased to see that the commission ‘has ensured that the public has access to a marketplace that thrives on innovation and change’.
SA company Trio End Street has been interdicted from using a fake BMW logo on its car rims and wheels, and thus infringing on the trade mark of the German company, says a report in The Star. The mother company of BMW SA – BMW AG – holds the trade mark to the logo. However, it emerged that Trio End Street, trading as Golden West Tyres & Wheels, was using the logo on its rims.
While many brand-holders adopt an aggressive approach and pursue criminal action against so-called counterfeiters under the Counterfeit Goods Act, the Criminal Procedure Act provides very useful procedural tools with which to flush out counterfeit kingpins â€“ ironically with the assistance of their own partners in crime, says Adams & Adams Attorneysâ€™ Jan-Harm Swanepoel, in an analysis in Business Day.