Call for tough fines for firms over collusion

DESPITE the recent crackdown on anti-competitive behaviour, the Competition Commission would still like to see tougher penalties for collusion.

Penalties resulting from commission investigations have soared from R44million in 2006-07 to R331million in the year to March.

Commission head Shan Ramburuth said after briefing MPs at Parliament in Cape Town yesterday he planned to develop an internal monitoring capacity to assess the effect of his team's work.

He said there was anecdotal evidence that many companies were consulting lawyers about implementing compliance programmes to ensure they did not get caught up in the sort of behaviour that saw more than 120 companies referred to the commission last year.

"Compliance programmes are apparently a big industry in the legal fraternity right now," Ramburuth said. - Brendan Boyle