Resin company fined R30m after admitting to price-fixing

A Durban-based resin company has admitted to price-fixing and market division transgressions, and has agreed to pay a R29.7m fine to the Competition Commission.

According to a statement issued by the commission on Thursday, NCS Resins – which manufactures and supplies a range of high quality unsaturated polyester resin to various industries – agreed to cooperate with the commission’s investigation and will set up a competition law compliance programme as part of its corporate governance policy.

The settlement agreement has been referred to the Competition Tribunal for approval.

The agreement was reached following an investigation launched in July last year. It found that NCS had colluded with Scott Bader to fix the price of resins, ancillaries and catalysts and divide the market by allocating customers, according to the commission.

“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,” the commission said.

Companies also agreed not to supply customers who had overdue accounts with either or both parties, and they agreed not to target each others’ potential customers.

“In addition, they agreed not to undercut each other in respect of mutual customers.”

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