IN THE KNOW
firms, regardless of the amount, are inadequate deterrents that are ultimately paid for by consumers.
In terms of the Amendment Act, company directors and those with management authority will not only commit a criminal offence if they cause the company to engage in price fixing, market division or collusive tendering, but will also be at risk if they “knowingly acquiesced” to the company engaging in collusive conduct. According to the Amendment Act, “knowingly acquiesced” means “having acquiesced while having actual knowledge” of the collusive conduct. However, it is expected that the courts will have to give further meaning to this concept given the gravity of a finding of criminal conduct against a person.
Although individuals may only be prosecuted under the new provision where a firm has acknowledged in a consent order that it has engaged in cartel conduct, or where the Competition Tribunal or the Competition Appeal Court has made a finding to this effect, critics have raised concerns about the rights of implicated individuals. Competition
Proponents of the criminalisation of cartel conduct have long argued that administrative penalties levied on firms are inadequate deterrents