Competition Commission raids manufacturers on suspicion of price fixing
08 Dec 2016
Today, 8 December 2016, the Competition Commission is conducting a search and seizure operation at the premises of five companies involved in the manufacture and distribution of refined edible oils, baking fats and margarine in South Africa. The companies operate in Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal provinces.
The Commission has reasonable grounds to suspect that Wilmar Continental Edible Oils and Fats (Pty) Ltd, DH Brothers Industries (Pty) Ltd t/a Willowton Oil and Cake Mills, FR Waring Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Africa Sun Oil Refineries (Pty) Ltd and Epic Foods (Pty) Ltd have engaged in cartel conduct which includes price-fixing in the market for the manufacture and distribution of refined edible oils including baking fats and margarine. The alleged conduct is believed to have started before 2007 and is still on-going.
The search and seizure operation is conducted as part of an ongoing investigation which was initiated by the Commissioner. During the search the Commission will seize documents, records and electronic data which will be analysed, together with other information gathered, to determine whether these companies have contravened the Competition Act.
The Commission obtained search and seizure warrants from the High Courts in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, respectively, in terms of section 46 of the Competition Act. The operation is being conducted with due regard to the rights of all the affected persons.
“Food and agro-processing is an important focus area for the Competition Commission, and we are determined to root out exploitation of consumers by cartels that are so prevalent in this sector. We have, in particular, been monitoring developments in the fats and oils markets and what we see is worrisome,” said the Commissioner of the Competition Commission, Tembinkosi Bonakele.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Sipho Ngwema, Head of Communications: Competition Commission
Tel: (012) 394 3493 / Cell: 078 048 1213 / Email: [email protected]