Legal Articles and Guides
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.
Group Five believes the outcome of its discussions with the Competition Commission on two unresolved collusion cases implicating the group is important because it would set a precedent, notes a report in Business Report. Group Fiveâ€™s Cristina Teixeira said that the companyâ€™s management team and board were very aware that it would be in the interests of all stakeholders to ensure that all of the Competition Commission matters within the company were addressed and closed.
The Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) has ordered SAA to pay more than R104m plus interest to liquidated airline Nationwide for damages caused by SAAâ€™s abuse of market dominance from 2001 to 2006. This, notes a Moneyweb report, is only the second claim of its kind in SA competition law and the first time a damages claim based on a finding by the Competition Tribunal has been litigated.
Several of the conditions imposed on the merger between SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev are likely to strengthen the competitive position of Distell, according to the Competition Tribunal’s analysis of the reasons for granting conditional approval for the megabrew deal. A Business Day report says in his reasons for the decision conditionally to allow the deal, tribunal chairperson Norman Manoim details how SABMiller will be forced to sell its 27% stake in Distell, how the merged entity will have to allocate space in its fridges for Distell’s cider, and how guarantees have been put in place to secure critical inputs for Distell and other competitors.