South Africa’s Competition Commission has asked that the country’s Competition Tribunal impose penalties of 10% on the turnover of the companies involved in power cable price fixing and market allocation. These companies produce both high-voltage cables for industrial use and low- and medium-voltage cables for households. Important customers include power-supply authorities, municipalities, railway and transport authorities and construction companies.

The investigation into price collusion and market allocation contraventions started in March 2010 when one of the firms, Aberdare Cables, applied for leniency from prosecution. In exchange for the information that led to the uncovering of the cartel, Aberdare would not receive an administrative penalty. Other firms that would appear before the tribunal during hearings were Alvern Cables, South Ocean Electric Wire and Tulisa Cables.

The commission found that the cartel members held regular meetings, sometimes in coffee shops, and had telephone conversations discussing price adjustments. The conduct had been going on between 2001 and at least 2010.

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