Durban company fined R30m for ‘cartel conduct’
16 May 2018 | Web Article Number: ME20189914
THE Competition Commission levied a hefty fine on a Durban resins manufacturer for what it described as “cartel conduct”.
“NCS Resins (Pty) Ltd has admitted to price fixing and market division transgressions and has undertaken to pay a fine of R29.7 million,” said commission spokesperson Sipho Ngwema.
“As part of its settlement agreement, NCS has agreed to cooperate fully with the commission’s investigation and the firm will set up a competition law compliance programme as part of its corporate governance policy.”
Ngwema said this agreement followed an investigation, launched in July last year, which found that NCS had colluded with Scott Bader (Pty) Ltd to fix the price of resins, ancillaries and catalysts and divide the market by allocating customers.
“The investigation uncovered that employees from both companies regularly exchanged prices and customer information. They used this information to determine prices at which they would sell their products to mutual customers. They also used the information to determine future price increases.”
According to Ngwema, the companies also agreed not to supply customers who had overdue accounts with either or both companies and agreed not to target each other’s potential customers. In addition, they agreed not to undercut each other in respect of mutual customers.
NCS manufactures and supplies a range of unsaturated polyester resin to various industries which include construction, transport, recreation, chemicals and mining. Resin is a solid or liquid synthetic organic polymer used as the basis of plastics, adhesives, varnishes, or other products.
NCS also manufactures and supplies a wide range of gelcoats, pigments, pool coats, flow coats, pigments and bonding pastes (ancillaries).