South African Breweries’ scheduled 13 day antitrust hearing cut short

By bne IntelliNews August 12, 2010
The scheduledhearing into allegations against South African Breweries has been cut shortafter the Competition Commission asked the brewer to discuss a possiblesettlement. The hearings, scheduled to start this week and run until February27, were the culmination of an investigation by the Competition Commissionwhich started in 2004, after an East Cape liquor distribution company, BigDaddys group, complained to the commission that its wholesale distributer,Safwasm, had been disadvantaged by not receiving the same discounts on SABstock it bought from the company as SABs appointed distributor in the samearea. The commission referred its findings of the investigation to the tribunalin 2007. Robyn Chalmers, SAB spokeswoman, said in a statement that SAB had beenwilling to engage with the Commission throughout the process, and was open todiscussions. SAB rejected charges of price-fixing and said that agreements itmade with distributors limiting their activity to specific territories did notconstitute anti-competitive behaviour as the commission alleged.

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