Tribunal dismisses collusion case against asphalt producers

Tribunal dismisses collusion case against asphalt producers

25th July 2019

By: Tasneem Bulbulia
Creamer Media Reporter

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The Competition Tribunal has dismissed a complaint referral against two asphalt producers whom the Competition Commission alleged had entered into an agreement to divide markets, in contravention of the Competition Act.

In its complaint referral, the commission had alleged that Roadspan Surfaces had agreed not to set up an asphalt production plant in Gauteng in competition with Much Asphalt and, in return, would remain a customer of Much Asphalt for the supply of asphalt in the province.

According to the commission, the two companies had entered into the collusive agreement during a meeting in 2008.

In its order and reasons issued on Thursday, the tribunal said it had found that the commission had not discharged its onus to prove that a geographic market division agreement was struck between Roadspan and Much Asphalt at a meeting on May 22, 2008, as alleged by the commission.

The tribunal also found that there was no proof in relation to a possibility that an agreement was reached at a later meeting after May 22, 2008, but before July 2008.

“We find that the commission has failed to set out facts or evidence before us that would, on a balance of probabilities, sustain a contravention of Section 4(1)(b)(ii) of the Act,” said the tribunal.