Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court will rule on Tuesday
on whether the Competition Commission can appeal against a judgment of the
Competition Appeal Court (CAC).
Under dispute was whether the commission could amend
complaints referrals it sent to the Competition Tribunal or whether a new
complaint had to be lodged every time a new party or conduct was uncovered in
The commission originally started investigating three
separate claims of price fixing and collusion in September 2007 by
manufacturers and sellers of flexible polyurethane foam, Loungefoam, Vitafoam
After investigations, it wanted to include Steinhoff Africa
in the complaints referral and expand charges to Steinhoff International Holdings [JSE:SHF],
Feltex and Kap.
In 2010, the tribunal granted the commission's request to
change the complaints referral. In May last year the decision was overturned by
In February this year, the commission submitted that the
Competition Act did not define the term "complaint" nor require that
the parties believed to be implicated, as well as prohibited practices, be
mentioned in the complaint.
It said the act could be interpreted broadly and
The respondents submitted that the referral was confined to
the facts and allegations in the original complaint and the parties mentioned
The commission had applied to the CAC for leave to appeal
its decision, which was pending, but had since approached the Constitutional
Court on the basis that faith needed to be restored in the commission's role
The parties were expected to address whether the commission
was entitled to approach the Constitutional Court directly.