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R10m price-fixing fine for Mpumalanga maize-milling firm

Mar 19 2017 11:09
Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – Maize milling firm, Blinkwater Mills will pay a R10.1m fine for price-fixing, the Competition Tribunal ruled.

The Tribunal approved the settlement for the mill which is based in Middleburg Mpumalanga. The settlement is 5% of its annual turnover for the 2007 financial year. The penalty is payable in three instalments, within a year, the Competition Commission said in a statement.   

The complaint relates to the price fixing of white maize products, and was lodged as far back as 2007, according to the Commission.

Blinkwater contravened the Competition Act by agreeing to the direct and indirect fixing of the selling price of milled white maize products, and agreed to dates upon which these prices would be implemented. 

Blinkwater colluded with other players such as Tiger brands, Pioneer Foods, Foodcorp, Pride Milling, Progress Milling, Godrich, TWK, Keystone, Westra, Carolina Mills, Brenner, Paramount, NTK, Kalel, Bothawille and Allem Brothers.

So far the Commission has concluded settlement agreements with Foodcorp, which paid an administrative penalty fee of R88.5m, Pioneer Foods which paid a penalty of R500m. Carolina Roller Meule paid a penalty R4.4m, and Keystone Milling paid a penalty of R6.7m. Tiger Brands and Premier Foods have been granted conditional immunity in terms of the Commission’s leniency policy, said the statement.

Blinkwater confirmed it has stopped colluding in the cartel and agreed to cooperate with the Commission to prosecute the remaining respondents. 

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maize  |  price fixing  |  economy  |  competition  |  collusion

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