Afrisam settles with Competition Commission

By Chris Sleight02 November 2011

South African cement producer Afrisam has agreed to pay a ZAR 125 million (US$ 15.3 million) fine for its part in a four-company cartel in the southern African cement market. The fine represents 3% of the company's 2010 revenues in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.

The Competition Commission of South Africa said Afrisam's fine reflected the fact that it had co-operated with its investigation into the cement sector and provided additional information on corporate conduct. The investigation was launched in June 2008 and looked at allegations of market allocation among the region's four main cement producers - Afrisam, which is partially owned by Holcim, Lafarge Industries South Africa, Natal Portland Cement Cimpor (NPC) and Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC).

Afrisam has admitted to entering into agreements with PPC, Lafarge and NPC to divide markets and indirectly fix the price of cement. PPC also applied for leniency in the investigation, and confirmed that the cartel was put in place based on market shares held by each company in 1996.

The Competition Commission says statistics produced by the Cement and Concrete Institute of South Africa (C&CI), complied based on individual sales data, were used to maintain the agreement

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