Ruffled feathers: Settlement reached with poultry producer

The Competition Commission has reached a settlement agreement with Astral Operations relating to contraventions of the Competition Act. In terms of the settlement, Astral admitted to price fixing and abuses of dominance in terms of its poultry operations in the Western Cape, and has agreed to pay an administrative penalty of approximately ZAR 16.7 million.

The settlement with Astral forms part of the Commission's prioritisation of staple foods, including poultry, which is the primary nutrition product for low income consumers. The subject of the settlement comprises one of five complaints investigated by the Commission.

The administrative penalty imposed on Astral amounts to three per cent (3 %) of Astral's fresh poultry revenue in the Western Cape during its 2008 financial year. The penalty relates to a joint venture established by Astral and Elite, which was dominant in the market for the supply of fresh poultry. The penalty was levied for an abuse of dominance by the joint venture, which had the effect of undermining other firms' ability to compete.


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