ArcelorMit­tal fined for price fix­ing

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

STEEL­MAKER ArcelorMit­tal has agreed to pay a US$110 mil­lion fine for il­le­gal price fix­ing in South Africa, of­fi­cials said.

The Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion launched a probe into steel pro­duc­ers in the coun­try in 2008 fol­low­ing concerns around high steel prices, and found that the com­pany col­luded with its com­peti­tors in “fix­ing” prices and al­lo­cat­ing cus­tomers.

The com­pany “ad­mits hav­ing been in­volved in the long steel and scrap metal car­tels, and agrees to pay an ad­min­is­tra­tive penalty of 1.5 bil­lion rand” ($110 mil­lion).

The lo­cal unit of the com­pany will pay the fine in five an­nual in­stal­ments of at least 300 mil­lion rand each, the com­pany said in a state­ment.

The South African gov­ern­ment said it wel­comed the pun­ish­ment of the coun­try’s largest steel maker in what it ranked the “largest sin­gle” fine im­posed so far against an in­di­vid­ual firm by the com­pe­ti­tion au­thor­i­ties.

“The ac­tion by the com­pe­ti­tion au­thor­i­ties is part of a crack­down against abuse of mar­ket power and price-fix­ing that un­der­mine the per­for­mance of the econ­omy,” Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Ebrahim Pa­tel said in a state­ment.

The watch­dog’s chief com­mis­sioner Tem­binkosi Bon­akele said the “penalty sends a strong mes­sage of de­ter­rence and is an im­por­tant mile­stone in the Com­mis­sion’s en­force­ment against car­tels”.

ArcelorMit­tal South Africa is the con­ti­nent’s largest steel pro­ducer, sup­ply­ing more than 61 per­cent of the steel used in Africa’s most in­dus­tri­alised coun­try. –

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