6 July 2015 by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Competition Matters

Commission refers case against furniture removal companies

The Competition Commission has referred a case of price fixing, market division and collusive tendering against several furniture removal companies.

The Commission initiated its investigation against 69 furniture removal companies in 2010 and concluded that the firms engaged in extensive collusive conduct, with some firms being accused of being complicit in as many as 3487 instances of collusion.

The Commission is seeking an administrative penalty equal to 10% of the firms' turnover for each instance of collusive tendering.

The Commission has settled the matter with 15 respondents. The settlement agreements were concluded based on a formulaic approach developed by the Commission in terms of which a respondent firm would pay an administrative penalty of a percentage of turnover determined based on the number of instances of collusion the relevant firm was allegedly involved in.

For purposes of settlement in this matter, the Commission was willing to settle on an administrative penalty of 4% of turnover where the relevant firm engaged in 1 - 10 instances of collusion, 5% for 11 - 25 instances, 6% for 26 - 50 instances, 7% for 51 - 100 instances, 8% for 101 - 300 instances, 9% for 301 - 500 instances and the maximum 10% of the relevant firm's turnover where it engaged in upwards of 501 instances of collusion.

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