Legal Articles and Guides
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.
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.