Sasol contravenes Competitions Act

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

The Competition Tribunal yesterday confirmed a settlement agreement between the Competition Commission and Sasol Chemical Industries.

The agreement relates to Sasol's conduct in two fertilizer cases brought by Nutri Flo and Nutri-Fertilizer (Nutri Flo) in 2002 and 2003.

The Nutri Flo case involved collusion between Sasol and competitors Omnia and Yara (previously known as Kynoch) in the supply of nitrogenous fertilizer.

The Foskor case involved collusion between Sasol and competitor Foskor in the supply of phosphoric acid.

The cartel admitted to contravening the Competition Act and agreed to pay a penalty of R250 680 000.

Nutri Flo made allegations regarding collusion in terms of excessive pricing and exclusionary conduct through an effective margin squeeze, which became increasingly severe after Nutri Flo lodged the second complaint and closed its granulation facility.

Sasol also admitted it had contravened the Act by actions that resulted in it becoming the main supplier of limestone ammonium nitrate LAN to wholesalers.

The Commission referred the complaint to the Tribunal in May 2006.