Five LPG companies to answer to allegations of price fixing – Creamer Media's Engineering News

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Five LPG companies to answer to allegations of price fixing
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Five LPG companies to answer to allegations of price fixing
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9th March 2020
By: Marleny Arnoldi
Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online
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Five liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) companies will have to answer to allegations of price fixing in a hearing to be heard by the Competition Tribunal from Tuesday.
The companies – Totalgas Southern Africa, Oryx Oil South Africa, KayaGas, Easigas and African Oxygen (Afrox) – have been under investigation by the Competition Commission since 2015.
The commission, in its referral of the matter to the tribunal, alleged that the companies had entered into agreements or engaged in a concerted practice to fix the price paid as a deposit fee for LPG cylinders for first-time buyers.
The commission motivated that the companies should pay an administrative penalty equal to 10% of their annual turnover, respectively.
The commission is, however, not seeking a fine against Afrox.
The companies, however, argued in answering papers that the outcome of a uniform deposit had resulted from each company having made the unilateral decision to increase the deposit in order to sustain the cylinder exchange programme.
The programme entails the payment of a uniform deposit fee, following which a consumer is able to exchange any empty LPG cylinder with one from any other LPG competitor at any supplier outlet without incurring any additional expense.
The closing arguments on the matter will be heard on April 28 and 29.
 
Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
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