Coporate Travel

Tourvest Found Guilty of Price-Fixing by the Competition Commission of South Africa

TRAVEL groups Tourvest and Siyazisiza Trust have been found guilty of price-fixing, according to the Competition Commission of South Africa.

The commission said it welcomed the decision by the Competition Tribunal to find the two companies guilty of collusive tendering.

While the Competition Tribunal instituted an administrative penalty which is over R9.2 million against Tourvest, it did not sanction a fine against Siyazisiza Trust.

Tourvest was ordered to pay the fine within 30 days.

Tourvest conducts business in the tourism industry and operates five arts, crafts, curio retail stores and two branded homeware stores in the international departures’ terminal section of the OR Tambo International Airport in Joburg.

Siyazisiza Trust is a broad-based craft enterprise development agency and works with about 400 rural crafters. It sells the crafters’ products to retailers, government entities, corporate clients within and beyond South Africa.

In a statement, the commission said the contravention related to bid-rigging in respect of a tender issued by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) in February 2013, for leasing three opportunities of arts, crafts, and curio retail spaces at OR Tambo International Airport for a period of five years.

“Tourvest and the Siyazisiza Trust concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) before submitting separate bids for one of the three tenders issued by ACSA. In terms of the MOU the respondents agreed to co-operate, as opposed to competing when bidding for one of the three tenders known as “opportunity 3,” it said.

According to the commission, it received a collusive tendering complaint against the two companies and investigated the allegations.

“The commission’s investigation found that the MOU concluded by the respondents in respect of the “opportunity 3” constituted a collusive agreement which contravened section 4(1)(b)(iii) of the Competition Act,” the commission said.

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