The Competition Commission (Commission) has referred a complaint
investigation to the Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) regarding
alleged cartel conduct by six oil companies, as well as the South
African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA), in relation to the
supply of commercial diesel in South Africa. The respondents to the
referral are the South African operations of Chevron, Engen, Shell,
Total, BP and Sasol, as well as SAPIA.
The Commission has asked that the Tribunal impose an
administrative penalty of up to 10% of each respondent's annual
turnover. The Commission alleges that (i) the oil companies agreed
to use the Wholesale List Selling Price (WLSP) published by the
Department of Energy as the basis for pricing diesel to commercial
customers, alternatively there was a concerted practice amongst the
oil companies to do so; and (ii) the sharing of disaggregated and
later aggregated volume information by the oil companies (by
product, magisterial district and customer segment), through SAPIA,
resulted in the oil companies fixing prices, allocating customers
and dividing markets. In particular, the Commission alleges that
the sharing of volume information had the result that the
respondents did not discount as aggressively as they should have,
and did not enter particular regions or pursue customers of one
The Commission is continuing to investigate conduct of certain
oil companies relating to other petroleum product categories. A
Webber Wentzel team lead by Robert Wilson and Desmond Rudman is
representing Sasol in these proceedings.
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