Competition Commission vows to keep fighting in SAB matter

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pretoria - The Competition Commission says it "regrets" the decision of the Competition Tribunal to dismiss a complaint it brought against South African Breweries (SAB), but has vowed not to let the matter go.

"The Commission does not intend to abandon its case against SAB, and in that vein will study the Tribunal reasons once available and decide on the way forward," said the Commission in a statement on Thursday.

The complaint was brought by the Commission against the SAB and its distributors in 2007 for allegedly flouting the Competition Act. The initial complaint in this matter was lodged with the Commission in 2004 by an independent beer wholesaler, the Big Daddy's group.

The Commission also claimed that the SAB compromised independent distributors because of its share and position in the market. It said the SAB misused its influence by asking retail outlets not to use SAB competitors.

After years of experiencing what the Commission described as "procedural challenges" since the onset of the complaint, today the Tribunal ruled that it had no jurisdiction to hear the complaint because of the recent decisions of the superior courts.

"Recent case law requires that a complaint lodged by a complainant to the commission should be the same as that referred to us unless it meets certain formalities that have to be complied with, prior to the referral," said the Tribunal. - BuaNews