Lafarge fined over SA cartel
First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
Lafarge Industries South Africa agreed to pay a US$19.6 million (€15 million) penalty has after it admitted taking part in a cement cartel.
The company reached the settlement with the South African Competition Commission after admitting to having taken part in price fixing and market division in the cement industry.
As part of the deal Lafarge agreed to pay the penalty, 6% of its 2010 annual turnover in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) region, which covers South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia.
The case has been running since 2008, and it has investigated dealings at Lafarge, Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC); AfriSam and Natal Portland Cement-Cimpor (NPC-Cimpor).
Following a 2009 raid at the offices of the accused parties, PPC applied for leniency and confirmed the existence of a cartel among the four cement producers.
In December 2011, an agreement was reached with Afrisam in which it confirmed the information provided by PPC and agreed to pay a US$16.5 million (€12.6 million) penalty, representing 3% of its 2010 annual turnover in the SACU region.
The commission said that it will continue to investigate NPC-Cimpor.