Telecommunications equipment and network solutions ZTE Corporation South Africa (ZTE SA) has agreed to pay a settlement amount of R5 million after being accused of allegedly colluding to divide markets. Photo: File
Telecommunications equipment and network solutions ZTE Corporation South Africa (ZTE SA) has agreed to pay a settlement amount of R5 million after being accused of allegedly colluding to divide markets. Photo: File

ZTE Corporation SA slapped with a R5 million fine by the Competition Tribunal for anti-competitive conduct

By Given Majola Time of article published Nov 18, 2021

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS equipment and network solutions ZTE Corporation South Africa (ZTE SA) has agreed to pay a settlement amount of R5 million after being accused of allegedly colluding to divide markets.

In a press statement released by the Competition Tribunal, the company was accused of cartel conduct. “In terms of a settlement agreement concluded between ZTE Corporation South Africa and the Competition Commission (the Commission), ZTE SA also agreed to refrain from engaging in any prohibited practice or anti-competitive conduct, in contravention of the Competition Act, in future. Furthermore, the firm agrees to implement a competition law compliance programme,” reads the statement.

The commission said that although ZTE SA had agreed to the terms of the settlement agreement, it did not admit liability with regards to the conduct, as alleged by the commission. The commission, in turn, had agreed to enter into the settlement agreement with ZTE SA without an admission of liability, based on various factors, read with the remedies contained in the consent agreement, including that ZTE SA had not previously been found guilty of contravening the Act.

In 2013, the commission launched an investigation into ZTE Corporation (China), ZTE Hong Kong, ZTE SA and ZTE Mzansi for allegedly allocating customers in the market for the supply of telecommunications equipment and network solutions in South Africa. It had been alleged that in 2011, ZTE SA and ZTE Mzansi agreed to divide markets by allocating customers between themselves.

The commission alleged that the parties agreed to divide the market in that ZTE Mzansi would distribute telecommunications equipment and network solutions to public sector customers while ZTE SA would distribute similar products to private sector customers. The commission alleged that this contravened section (4)(1) of the Act.

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