South Africa’s highest governmental competition authority, the Competition Tribunal, has approved two settlement agreements reached by the lower Competition Commission with Air Products South Africa and MVA Bricks / MVA Stene, respectively.
These relate to collusive behaviour in various business sectors, including the building sector which had been investigated by the antitrust watchdog for an extensive period of time.
The former settlement requires Air Products to pay a penalty of almost R2.8 million (about USD300,000) for purported market allocation between it and Sasol Chemical Industries in the industrial gases market. The undertaking published a press release, noting that:
“Air Products has agreed to amend the suite of agreements with Sasol to remove any provisions that contravene the Competition Act; to develop, implement and monitor a (renewed and enhanced) competition law compliance programme incorporating corporate governance designed to ensure that its employees, management, directors and agents do not engage in future contraventions of the Competition Act; and to refrain from engaging in anti-competitive conduct in the future.
“Air Products intends to implement further internal measures to inculcate an increased awareness of the Competition Act and to ensure compliance with the competition laws of South Africa going forward, to ensure that no further inadvertent contraventions of the Competition Act take place.”
The latter settlement with MVA Bricks calls for a R672 565 penalty for collusion between MVA and Aveng Africa in the market for generic paving blocks.