Margarine, baking fat producers in the frying pan over alleged price-fixing

The commission raided the firms after receiving information that they may have been involved in cartel conduct before 2007.

Bread and butter. Picture: Pixabay.com.

JOHANNESBURG – The Competition Commission has launched an investigation into five manufacturers of margarine, edible oils and baking fats for their alleged involvement in price-fixing.

On Thursday, the commission raided the firms in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal after receiving information that they may have been involved in cartel conduct before 2007 and that the practice is still ongoing.

The firms include Africa Oil Refineries and Epic Foods.

The commission’s Bukhosibakhe Majenge says the regulatory body has been monitoring developments in the oils and fats market and has observed a worrisome trend.

“Increasing prices at almost the same time as well as increasing prices almost by a similar magnitude.”

Majenge says if the companies are found to be involved in price fixing the matter will then be referred to the competition tribunal.

“We’ll conduct further investigation to determine whether or not these firms were involved in these allegations of cartel conduct.”

A number of items have been seized from the firms during the raids to assist authorities with the investigation including document’s records and electronic data.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)