South Africa: Wheat milling cartel probed

Johannesburg / ZA. (div) Tiger Brands Limited and Premier Foods Limited have been granted conditional immunity from prosecution in a South African investigation into grain millers, the Competition Commission said. Johannesburg-based Tiger Brands and Premier Foods were awarded conditional immunity for co-operating with the probe, the Competition Commission said in a statement. The commission investigates antitrust complaints and makes recommendations to the Competition Tribunal, which rules on the findings. The commission found evidence of «price fixing and dividing markets by allocating customers», it said. It recommended that the Tribunal fine Pioneer Foods Limited, Foodcorp Limited and Godrich Milling Limited ten percent of their annual turnover for the 2009 fiscal year. Premier Foods, Tiger Brands, Foodcorp and Pioneer Foods control more than 90 percent of South Africa´s wheat flour market, according to the commission. The probe into grain milling follows the fining of Tiger Brands, Pioneer Foods and Foodcorp for colluding to fix the price of bread. Corn meal and bread are South Africa´s staple foods.

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