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South Africa: Shoprite faces hefty anti-competitive behaviour fine

Shoprite’s retail unit, which houses the country’s biggest supermarket chain, will be fined 10 percent of its turnover for anti-competitive behaviour, if Thursdays recommendation of South Africa’s Competition Commission is honoured.

Shoprite shares fell more than 4 percent after the commission referred it to the country’s Competition Tribunal. This tribunal will ultimately decide if the commission’s charges and proposed fine should stand.

The retailer does not disclose turnover for its individual units in its financial statements, but Shoprite Checkers, which includes all of Shoprite’s supermarket brands as well as its liquor, furniture, meat and money businesses, is its biggest money maker.

Overall, Shoprite’s businesses brought in R145.3 billion ($10.22 bln) in revenue in 2018. Computicket, its event ticket selling subsidiary, was also charged and fined the same amount as its retail unit.

The Competition Commission said in a statement Computicket had signed agreements with inventory providers in the entertainment industry that enabled it to discriminate on prices between different-sized customers and served to exclude its competitors.

The case marks the second time the commission has referred Computicket to the Competition Tribunal, with a decision on similar charges spanning the period 1999 to December 2012 still pending.

According to a Reuters article, this is the first time that Shoprite has been added as a respondent to the charges, however, with the current case covering the period from January 2013 to present.

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