ERJ staff report (DS)
Pretoria -- South Africa's Competition Commission has entered into a settlement agreement with Apollo Tyres South Africa (â€œApolloâ€), in which Apollo admits that it took part in the tyre manufacturers' cartel. The cartel involved the main tyre manufacturers in agreeing on pricing and price increases, known amongst them as â€œcoffee table talksâ€.
Apollo Tyres has agreed to pay a penalty of R45 million (euro 4 million) which represents 4, 75 percent of its 2008 total turnover.
The agreement follows the Commission's referral on 6 September 2010 of the findings of its investigation against the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (Pty) Ltd (â€œSATMCâ€) and four local tyre manufacturers and suppliers namely, Apollo, Goodyear South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Continental Tyre South Africa (Pty) Ltd and Bridgestone South Africa (Pty) Ltd (â€œBridgestoneâ€) to the Competition Tribunal for adjudication. Bridgestone was granted conditional immunity by the Commission following its application for corporate leniency.
The Commission's investigation revealed that the cartel operated during the period 1999 to at least 2007. The tyre manufacturers agreed on price increases, timing of price increases and implementation thereof. It further found that the SATMC was used as a platform to conduct these discussions.
The cartel concerned the manufacture and supply of passenger tyres, light truck/commercial tyres, trucks and bus tyres, off the road tyres, agricultural tyres and earthmover tyres in South Africa. The main customers of these products are tyre dealers who purchase tyres for resale to consumers, vehicle manufacturers who purchase tyres for new vehicles models and the government which procures tyres for state owned vehicles and fleets through a tender process managed by the State Tender Board.
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Press release from South Africa's Competition Commission