Milling firm fined R10m for price fix­ing

Saturday Star - - NEWS -

THE COM­PE­TI­TION Com­mis­sion yes­ter­day wel­comed a de­ci­sion by the Com­pe­ti­tion Tri­bunal con­firm­ing its R10 mil­lion set­tle­ment agree­ment with Blinkwa­ter Mills, a maize milling firm based in Mid­del­burg, Mpumalanga.

Blinkwa­ter has agreed to pay a fine amount­ing to R10 112 504 for col­lud­ing with other maize milling fir ms to fix the price of milled white maize as well as the dates when the new pric­ing would be im­ple­mented.

Milled white maize prod­ucts in­clude maize meal, samp, maize rice, maize flour and maize chop, which is a sta­ple food for the ma­jor­ity of poor South Africans.

In terms of the set­tle­ment agree­ment be­tween the com­mis­sion and Blinkwa­ter, the milling fir m ad­mits li­a­bil­ity and that it con­tra­vened the Com­pe­ti­tion Act by hav­ing agreed with its com­peti­tors to di­rect and in­di­rect fix­ing of the sell­ing price of milled white maize prod­ucts, as well as agree­ing to dates upon which these prices would be im­ple­mented.

The com­mis­sion said the col­lu­sive con­duct, which is in con­tra­ven­tion of sec­tion 4 of the Com­pe­ti­tion Act, took place be­tween 1999 and 2007.

The mat­ter dates to 2007 when the com­mis­sion ini­ti­ated a com­plaint against Tiger Brands, Pi­o­neer Foods, Food­corp, Pride Milling and Progress Milling.

The com­plaint was first ini­ti­ated when the com­mis­sion re­ceived a cor­po­rate le­niency ap­pli­ca­tion from Premier Foods in 2007, which was cor­rob­o­rated by a fur­ther le­niency ap­pli­ca­tion filed by Tiger Brands in the same year.

In this mat­ter, the com­mis­sion has con­cluded set­tle­ment ag ree­ments with Food­corp, Pi­o­neer Foods, Car­olina Roller Meule, and Key­stone Milling.

Tiger Brands and Premier Foods have been g ranted con­di­tional im­mu­nity. At least 10 other milling firms have not yet set­tled with the com­mis­sion.

Blinkwa­ter has agreed to pay the fine in three in­stal­ments within a year which amounts to 5% of its an­nual turnover for the fi­nan­cial year end­ing in 2007. – ANA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.