Brick firm responds to price fixing allegations

by Ofentse Sefolo
Brick firm responds to price fixing allegations

Corobrik is one of six firms mentioned by the Competition Commission in a referral to the Competition Tribunal on the 4th of July 2017. According to a media statement issued by the Competition Commission on 5 July 2017, the referral follows an investigation launched by the Commission in April this year against Corobrik, Era Bricks, Eston Brick and Tile, De Hoop Brickfields, Clay Industry and Kopano Brickworks for contravening the Competition Act.
The Commission alleges that Corobrik’s agreements with these firms result in price fixing and/or the division of markets in the manufacturing and supply of bricks, pavers and blocks of clay and concrete.

“We regard the allegations in the Commission’s referral very seriously and I was most surprised to learn that the Commission believes these agreements generate competition law concerns,” says Dirk Meyer, Corobrik managing director.

“Corobrik is of the view that its agreements with the abovementioned firms are both legitimate and defensible in terms of the Competition Act and that the Commission’s concerns are attributable to a misunderstanding of the commercial arrangements in question and the market generally.

“Notably, the referral to the Competition Tribunal does not constitute a finding against Corobrik. It is simply a reflection of the Commission’s views based on its understanding of the agreements. The question of whether or not the conduct actually amounts to a contravention of the Competition Act remains to be adjudicated by the Tribunal,” he states.

“Consequently, Corobrik is looking forward to the opportunity to clear its name and is confident that a thorough ventilation of the relevant facts and circumstances before the Tribunal will set the record straight.

“Corobrik would like to assure its employees, suppliers, customers and business partners that while this process is likely to take some time to finalise, the company’s operations will continue unaffected and it remains committed to all of its stakeholders,” Meyer assures.

For more information, contact Dirk Meyer on 031 560 3419.

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