On 19 June 2012 the Competition Tribunal confirmed as a consent order the settlement agreement entered into between the Competition Commission (Commission) and Oceana Limited and Oceana Brands Limited (Oceana) on 9 May 2012. In terms of the settlement agreement Oceana agreed to pay a fine of ZAR34 750 050, which represents 5% of its turnover from its pelagic fish operations in South Africa for 2010.In addition, Oceana admitted to contravening the Competition Act (Act) in that along with members of the South African Pelagic Fish Processors Association, including Foodcorp, Premier Fishing SA, Gansbaai Marine, Terressan Pelagic Fishing, Paternoster Visserye, Pioneer Fishing (Pioneer) and Saldanha Foods, it agreed to fix the prices paid to vessel owners, skippers and crew for their services.
Furthermore, Oceana admitted to - (1) entering into certain agreements with competitors that resulted in the exchange of competitively sensitive information; (2) allocating markets in respect of certain suppliers with Pioneer in the Mossel Bay region; and (3) fixing quota rental fees with Pioneer in relation to three quota holding companies in Port Elizabeth.
Moreover, Oceana agreed to fully cooperate fully with the Commission in relation to prosecution of the complaint upon referral and to not engage in future contraventions of the Act. Oceana was also required to submit a copy of its compliance program to the Commission within 30 days of the confirmation.
Webber Wentzel acts for Oceana.
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