South African Competition Commission Raids Glass Companies

The South African Competition Commission (SACC) conducted dawn raids on Shatterprufe, PG Glass, Glasfit and Digicall on Wednesday after it received two allegations of “price fixing.”

PG Glass and Glasfit offer automotive glass repair and replacement services through a network of branches in South Africa. Shatterprufe manufactures and supplies PG Glass and Glasfit with glass. Digicall offers insurance claims administration solutions.

“We are working with the Competition Commission, which is currently conducting an investigation into alleged collusive conduct involving Glasfit, PG Glass, Shatterprufe and Digicall,” says Ruben Moggee, managing director at Glasfit. “We will work with the Competition Commission to resolve the matters raised. This does not impact our operations and our service delivery to our customers.”

PG Glass CEO Charles Bromley denies the allegations, according to a local report.

The SACC received two, third-party complaints alleging, among other things, that PG Glass and Glasfit use Digicall as a platform to fix prices, says Itumeleng Lesofe, a spokesperson for the SACC.

“The Commission investigation has uncovered information that suggests that there may indeed be collusive practices in the automotive sector,” says Lesofe. “For instance, information in possession of the Commission suggests that PG Glass and Glasfit coordinate their pricing strategies regarding how they should respond to requests for proposals issued by insurance companies.”

The Commission has not yet made a finding in the case; the investigation is ongoing, he adds.

The additional companies involved in the raids have not yet responded to a request for comment at press time.

This isn’t the first time the SAAC has investigated allegations of price fixing with regards to glass.

“The Commission has previously conducted an investigation into alleged collusive conduct in the supply of building glass,” according to Lesofe. “The Commission found that firms such as Glass South Africa (a wholesale division of the PG Group) engaged in cartel conduct.”

In its investigation, the SACC found that between 1995 and 2007 six companies had telephone conversations and held various “boys’ club” meetings where they fixed minimum selling prices, says Lesofe.

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