DURBAN - The Competition commission has slapped Mpact with a R7million fine for its role in alleged acts of collusion and the implementation of merger acquisitions that are in contravention of the Competition Act.
Mpact, a leading paper and plastics packaging businesses in southern Africa, acquired control of several entities without the approval from the commission through its indirectly wholly owned subsidiary, Rebel Packaging.
The commission said Mpact has undertaken to pay a R7m penalty following an investigation initiated by the commissioner in May 2016. “In terms of the Competition Act, these acquisitions were notifiable mergers, meaning that they were supposed to be reported to the commission prior to implementation. Mpact has admitted that this conduct contravened the Competition Act,” the competition commission said.
The commission said, in the course of its investigation, it found that Mpact, together with a number of smaller entities, was involved in collusive conduct related to price fixing, collusive tendering and the division of markets in the market for the manufacture and supply of corrugated packaging products.
The commission’s findings revealed that Mpact, through its involvement as shareholder and supplier to the sheet plants over which it gained control, had insight into their costs and pricing, as well as the specific customers whom they were targeting. Mpact also had a representative who sat on the board of directors of those sheet plants. The commission has referred to the Competition Tribunal for confirmation as an order a consent agreement with Mpact.