PPC settles cement cartel case

PPC settles cement cartel case
16 November 2020

PPC has reached a settlement agreement with South Africa’s Competition Tribunal on the cement cartel case, bringing the 12-year matter to a close, reports Business Weekly.

The agreement comes after the competition launched a probe into anti-competitive behaviour in the cement industry in 2008. PPC, along with competitors LafargeHolcim, AfriSam and Natal Portland Cement Cimphor (NPC), allegedly agreed to divide the South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland and Namibia markets in 1995. The divisions were based on market shares the four companies held during apartheid when South Africa had a lawful cement cartel. After a price war, they entered into more collusive agreements between 1998 and 1999, the Tribunal said. The commission's investigation resulted in raids of the companies' offices in 2009.

PPC applied for immunity from prosecution, following the raids, admitting to collusive behaviour and implicating its three competitors. The company was granted leniency by the commission for assisting it to prosecute the three companies.

AfriSam paid an administrative penalty of ZAR124.8m in 2011 while Lafarge settled with ZAR148.7m (US$9.66m) the following year. Both companies had agreed to cooperate with the commission against NPC but the tribunal dismissed the case against the cement producer last year.

Published under Cement News