23/11/2018. Crowds pushing their way into the Shoprite inSoshanguve Crossing for the Black Friday specials. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG – The Competition Commission said on Thursday that it had charged retailer Shoprite and its subsidiary Computicket with anti-competitive behaviour, and recommended a fine, sending its shares down more than 4 percent.

In a statement, the commission said Shoprite and the event ticket seller had signed exclusive agreements that gave Computicket the ability to discriminate between large and small customers on prices and forced third parties to engage with Computicket, excluding its competitors.

“The Commission has asked the Tribunal to impose an administrative penalty of 10 percent of Computicket and Shoprite Checkers annual turnover,” the commission said.

Shoprite was not immediately available to comment.

Shares in the country’s biggest supermarket chain fell more than 4 percent after the announcement but had recovered to R183, a decline of 1.84 percent, by 12:37pm. 

In October, earlier this year,  Shoprite’s share price fell 4.6 percent after it released a flat operational update for the quarter to end September hampered by weak consumer sentiment.