Johannesburg - The Competition Commission said on Wednesday
it had brought charges of price-fixing against the local units of major oil
companies including Chevron, BP and Total.
The Commission also said in a statement the companies - as
well as Shell, Sasol [JSE:SOL] and Engen - had shared detailed information
about sales and customers to hinder competition.
The suspected collusion ran from the late 1980s to 2005 and
included petrol, diesel, illuminating kerosene and other products, the
“Information at this level of detail allowed the oil
companies to closely track each other’s sales and to align their strategies in
the market, eliminating competition between themselves,” the commission said.
“This also enabled them to divide or allocate markets by
deciding not to enter, or compete for, certain geographic markets or customer
groupings,” it said.
The commission said it had asked South Africa’s Competition
Tribunal, which rules on such cases, to levy a fine equal to 10% of company
revenue in the preceding financial year.