PRETORIA – A settlement agreement between TWK Milling and the Competition Commission, in terms of which the firm agreed to pay a fine of R1.84 million for participating in meetings of a price-fixing cartel, has been confirmed by the Competition Tribunal.

The commission initiated a complaint in March 2007 against Tiger Brands, Pioneer Foods, Foodcorp, Pride Milling and Progress Milling.

The complaint was initiated after the commission received a corporate leniency application from Premier Foods. This complaint was corroborated by a further corporate leniency application by Tiger Brands.

The complaint initiation was subsequently amended to include others in the maize-milling industry, including Bothaville Milling, Godrich Milling, TWK Milling, Keystone Milling, Westra Milling, Carolina Mills, Brenner Mills, Paramount Mills, NTK Mills, Kalei Mills trading as Isizwe Mills and Blinkwater Milling.

The commission’s investigation revealed that between 1999 and 2007, these milling companies were involved in price-fixing of white milled maize.

TWK Milling attended meetings between 2004 and 2006 with its competitors, but did not implement the agreements. But the commission said TWK Milling benefited from information obtained at these meetings.

Cases against the remaining respondents, including Westra Million and Paramount Mills, are expected to be heard by the tribunal next year.

The tribunal yesterday confirmed settlement agreements between the commission and Landee Cleaning Services CC and Women on Board CC.

The two firms admitted colluding on a 2014 tender issued by the City of Cape Town. Women on Board agreed to pay a fine of R4 476.60 and Landee to pay a penalty of R19 019.48.