Roy Cokayne

BRITISH Airways (BA) has agreed to pay a fine of R21.7 million in terms of a provisional settlement agreement reached with the Competition Commission for co-ordinating its ticket prices with Virgin Atlantic Airways in relation to the fuel surcharge rates charged to passengers travelling on their UK to South Africa routes.

Cycad Pipelines has also agreed to pay a fine – of R3.39m in terms of a provisional settlement agreement reached with the commission for agreeing with Shearwater Construction and Phambili Pipelines, a subsidiary of listed construction group Basil Read, in February 2008 on the payment of a loser’s fee for the Thabazimbi pipeline project.

The Competition Tribunal will, at a hearing today, consider and possibly confirm both of these settlement agreements.

The commission initiated the complaint against BA and Virgin Atlantic in January 2008 and on completion of its investigation concluded that BA had engaged in a number of prohibited practices in terms of the Competition Act.

Cycad Pipelines, which was acquired by listed construction group Stefanutti Stocks in 2012, did not respond to the invitation from the commission in 2011 for firms involved in collusive conduct to engage in a fast-track settlement process on favourable terms.

Cycad was awarded a tender and paid a loser’s fee of R1.14m each to Shearwater Construction and Phambili Pipelines in installments between August 2008 and December 2008.