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Competition Tribunal confirms order against Sumitomo for fixing automotive components prices

Christian Fernsby ▼ | August 4, 2020
The Competition Commission of South Africa welcomes the decision of the Competition Tribunal that confirms as an order the consent agreement between the Commission and a Japanese company, Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd (“SEI”), for fixing prices, dividing market and collusive tendering in contravention of section 4 (1) (b) (i), (ii) and (iii) of the Competition Act.
Sumitomo Electric
Consent   Sumitomo Electric
SEI is the first firm to settle with the Commission among the 69 automotive components manufacturers that are being investigated by the Commission for colluding on 301 tenders in the automotive components market.

Topics: Sumitomo

In terms of the order, SEI agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R437 278.38 within 30 days.

This follows a duo of complaints initiated by the Commission on 22 December 2014 and 23 February 2015, against SEI and Denso Corporation, private companies incorporated and registered under the laws of Japan, for allegedly fixing prices, diving market and collusive tendering in contravention of section 4 (1) (b) (i), (ii) and (iii) of the Competition Act.

The Commission’s investigation revealed that during or about 2003, the respondents met, and or held telephone conversations in order to discuss and agree to set the prices by which they would respond to the tender or Request For Quotation (“RFQ”) issued by Toyota in respect of the standard body electrical control units (“ECUs”) for the 2009 Toyota Prius, 2010 Toyota Verso, 2010 Toyota Auris and 2011 Toyota Yaris.

The bidding process undertaken by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (“OEMs”) such as Toyota and BMW typically entails the issue of the RFQ by the OEMs approximately three years prior to production of a vehicle. It would then be before or during the bidding process whereby the respondent would meet or exchange the abovementioned information.

The implicated automotive models were sold in South Africa as follows, Toyota Prado 2010 to 2013, Prius from 2010 to 2013, Yaris from 2011 to 2014, Verso from 2010 to 2014 and Auris from 2010 to 2010.