Johannesburg - The Competition Tribunal will on Wednesday consider a settlement agreement between the Competition Commission and Swan Plastics.
Swan Plastics manufactures plastic pipes used in the plumbing, civil and agricultural sectors and was accused by the Commission, along with seven others, of price fixing, tender rigging and dividing markets by allocating contracts and customers.
DPI Plastics, also a plastic pipe manufacturer, assisted the Commission to conclude its investigation by providing evidence of the
collusion in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
Since the Commission referred its case to the Tribunal, in February 2009, the Tribunal has confirmed two settlement agreements – with Marley Pipe Systems and Flo-Tek pipes.
In these settlements, both Marley and Flo- Tek admitted they had contravened the Competition Act and agreed to pay penalties of around R31m and R5m respectively, being 6% of their turnovers for 2007.
In the settlement agreement which the Tribunal will hear on Wednesday Swan Plastics admits that it contravened the Competition Act.
It also agrees to pay a R7m penalty, being 6% of its turnover for 2007.
In addition to this, Swan Plastics undertakes to cooperate with the Commission's prosecution of any other respondents in the case and to implement compliance programmes designed to ensure that its employees do not engage in such contraventions in future.
The Tribunal is presently hearing a matter, which is part heard, against five other respondents which the Commission alleges were part of the same cartel.
Some of these firms are contesting whether they were part of the alleged cartel, whilst others are contesting the extent of their
involvement. That case will continue in January 2011.