JOHANNESBURG, July 5 – Corobrik, a well-known manufacturer and supplier of bricks, pavers including clay and concrete blocks in South Africa, and five other brick makers, have been charged for price fixing and division of markets, the Competition Commission said on Wednesday.
This follows an investigation launched by the Commission in April against Corobrik, Era Bricks, Eston Brick and Tile, De Hoop Brickfields, Clay Industry, and Kopano Brickworks for contravening the Competition Act, by engaging in price fixing and division of markets in the manufacturing and supply of bricks, pavers and blocks of clay and concrete.
The Commission said Corobrik entered into separate bilateral agreements with each of the five companies where they agreed to divide the market by allocating specific products and/or customers in contravention of section 4 of the Competition Act.
In addition, the Commission said Corobrik and Era Bricks agreed to fix prices at which they sold bricks, pavers and blocks.
According to the Commission, Corobrik and Era Bricks concluded a Memorandum of Agreement in terms of which they agreed that Era Bricks would not supply its products directly to customers in competition with Corobrik, but instead would sell directly to Corobrik who would then sell to customers in the open market.
The two companies also allegedly agreed that Era Bricks would not manufacture or sell any bricks other than the types it was manufacturing and selling to Corobrik.
In addition, Era Bricks allegedly agreed that it would not manufacture or sell any competitive product capable of being utilised in the brick industry in substitution for bricks; and in the event that it has excess products, it agreed not to sell such excess products at prices that are lower than those charged by Corobrik.
The Commission further said that Corobrik concluded separate bilateral Distributorship Agreement with each of Eston Brick, Clay Industry, De Hoop and Kopano wherein each company agreed with Corobrik that they would not supply their respective products directly to customers in competition with Corobrik.
Instead, the companies allegedly agreed that they will each supply their respective products to Corobrik which would then sell directly to customers.