Professional Update
monthly newsletter for KZN Attorneys from the Kwazulu-Natal Law Society

1 June 2009

This professional service draws attention to current and important items of news
 and members are directed to the hosts' websites

InfoUpdate 11 of 2009
Competition Commission, Tribunal and Appeal Court

Electronic copies of this information may be obtained from our librarians at or click on the underlined hyperlink where relevant

Competition Commission, Tribunal and Appeal Court - ;

Competition Tribunal

17 April 2009
45/CR/May06 ; 31/CR/May05 [2009] ZACT 25
Competition Commission of South Africa v Sasol Chemical Industries (Pty) Ltd and Others

Sasol agrees to pay R188m fine to settle fertiliser cases - 6 May
Petrochemicals giant Sasol has admitted to contravening the Competition Act, and agreed to pay a R188-million fine, which equals some 6% of the turnover of the Sasol Nitro division. This agreement between Sasolís fertiliser unit and South Africa's Competition Commission was subject to confirmation by the Competition Tribunal. The Commission stated that the other companies implicated, namely Omnia and Yara, continued to deny the allegations of collusive conduct in continuing proceedings before the Competition Tribunal. -
Creamer Media's Engineering News website

Sasol to meet with Tribunal on R188m fertilizer settlement - 11 May
Petrochemicals giant Sasol will meet with the Competition Tribunal next week to make submissions on a R188-million settlement it had agreed to with the Competition Commission last week, regarding uncompetitive behaviour in the fertiliser industry. The petrochemicals producer admitted to contravening the Competition Act by entering into a series of agreements, arrangements and understandings with its competitors Omnia and Yara, which had resulted in Sasol becoming the principal supplier of limestone ammonium nitrate to wholesale customers. -
Creamer Media's Engineering News website

Sasol agrees to higher R250m fine after more fertiliser breaches are unearthed - 19 May
Energy and chemicals group Sasol announced on Tuesday that, in line with an amended agreement reached with the Competition Commission, it had agreed to an even heftier fine of R250,68-million to settle competition breaches involving its fertiliser unit. Earlier, a fine of R188-million had been agreed, but additional information was reportedly uncovered last week, showing contraventions that had not previously been disclosed. Sasol said in a statement that the further breaches had emerged during the course of an ongoing investigation within its fertiliser and phosphoric acid businesses, which had included repeat interviews with employees and ex-employees. - Creamer Media's Engineering News website

Competition body confirms fresh fertiliser probe - 20 May
The Competition Commission is proceeding with a new investigation of possible anticompetitive behaviour in the fertiliser industry, the commission's economist and divisional manager of policy research Dr Simon Roberts confirmed on Wednesday. - Creamer Media's Engineering News website

14 April 2009
27/LM/Feb09 [2009] ZACT 24
RZT Zelpy 5506 (Pty) Ltd v Seesa Limited

1 April 2009
10/LM/Jan09 [2009] ZACT 23
Old Mutual (South Africa) Ltd v Medscheme Life Assurance Ltd

1 April 2009
12/LM/Jan09 [2009] ZACT 22
MTN Group Ltd v New Shelf 664 (Pty) Ltd

1 April 2009
16/LM/Feb09 [2009] ZACT 21
Premier Motor Holdings, a division of Imperial Group (Pty) Ltd v Key Truck and Car (Airport) (Pty) Ltd

Competition Appeal Court

ArcelorMittal SA to hear fine appeal verdict Fri - 27 May
ArcelorMittal SA, the South African unit of the world's No. 1 steel maker, will know on Friday the fate of its appeal against a fine of 691.8 million rand ($83.28 million) for charging "excessive" prices on its flat steel products. South Africa's Competition Appeal Court in Cape Town will decide whether to uphold or dismiss the decision by the country's Competition Tribunal to fine ArcelorMittal 5.5 percent of its total turnover of 12.76 billion rand earned on flat steel in both the local and export market during 2003. The record fine was imposed in September, 2007 by the tribunal. - The Guardian website

Court's sends landmark excessive-pricing ruling back to Competition Tribunal - 29 May
Lawyers for gold miner Harmony, which referred the complaint of excessive pricing against ArcelorMittal South Africa to the Competition Tribunal in 2004, expressed disappointment on Friday with the Competition Appeal Court's decision to upheld [sic] the steel producer's appeal against the tribunal's 2007 finding against the company, which was accompanied by a record fine of R691,8-million. In his 90-page judgment, Judge Dennis Davies set aside what was the tribunal's first-ever excessive pricing finding, but did not entirely dispose of the matter. - Creamer Media's Engineering News website

ArcelorMittal S Africa wins appeal on record fine - 29 May
The approach the tribunal took to determining what constituted excessive pricing was "fundamentally flawed", the three-judge panel said in their 90-page written judgment. "Both the decisions on the merits and order made pursuant thereto" are set aside, the ruling said. - Bloomberg website

ArcelorMittal wins appeal on R692m fine - 29 May
Interview with Jean Meijer, partner, Bowman Gilfillan by Alec Hogg on the Moneyweb website

Disappointment over court's decision on Mittal - 1 June
DRDGold CEO Niel Pretorius says the company will consider the appeal court's judgment in the complaint against ArcelorMittal. The first complaint was lodged by Harmony and DRDGold , which use steel in their gold mines, with the Competition Commission in 2002, it was referred to the tribunal in 2004. The tribunal's trial began in 2006 and its decision was delivered in 2007. ArcelorMittal SA appealed last year. Nick Altini, a director at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr who acted for both companies but who said he could only speak for Harmony, said Harmony had hoped the appeal court would make a final ruling. - allAfrica website

InfoUpdate : an Information Service supplied by the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society