White maize cartel referred for prosecution

THE Competition Commission has referred its findings of price-fixing of milled white maize to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution.

THE Competition Commission has referred its findings of price-fixing of milled white maize to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution.

The commission said yesterday it had been investigating price-fixing in the milling industry since 2007.

"The investigations led to the referral of two cases to the tribunal, the wheat milling referral, which was referred recently as well as (yesterday's) white maize milling referral."

The milling investigations were initiated following Premier Foods' disclosure during the bread cartel investigation that the cartel, which involved largely the same companies, also covered their wheat and maize milling operations, the commission said.

"With respect to white maize milling the commission found evidence of price-fixing by Pioneer Foods, Foodcorp, Godrich Milling, Progress Milling, Pride Milling, Westra Milling, Brenner Mills, Blinkwater Mills, TWK Milling, NTK Milling, Carolina Mills, Kalel Foods, Bothaville Milling, Paramount Mills, Keystone Milling, Premier Foods and Tiger Brands."

The maize milling case involved more firms than the wheat milling case, and the commission might add more names to the referral papers as firms came forward to settle and disclose what they knew of the cartel.

In its investigation the commission found that the respondents discussed pricing, agreed on price increases and the timing of such increases. - Sapa

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