Collusion And Cartel And Competition Commission Commerce Essay

The Competition Commission was instituted to battle obstructions to the enlargement of markets and the barriers to entry that prevent new houses from come ining the market ( Sorell and Hendry, day of the month ) . Competing makers are non allowed to put monetary values amongst themselves ‘ it is illegal ( Sorell and Hendry, day of the month ) . Price repair is illegal because houses project a public image of independant operations and hence cloak-and-dagger collusion and formation of trusts leads to dishonesty and ignore the societal contract that exists between houses and society ( Sorell and Hendry, day of the month ) . Firms unnaturally inflate their monetary values, but consumers believe that the monetary value they are paying is the competitory monetary value ( Sorell and Hendry, day of the month ) . Not merely is monetary value repairing damaging to consumers, but it besides puts other houses at a disadvantage ( Sorell and Hendry, day of the month ) .

‘People of the same trade seldom run into together… even for gaiety and recreation, but the conversation ends in a confederacy against the populace or in some appliance to raise monetary values. ‘ ‘ Adam Smith

Some argue that the duty of modulating houses in a market falls on the authorities because houses can non move as ‘players and umpires at the same clip. ‘ ( Ryrie in Sorrel and Hendry, day of the month ) . This nevertheless does non ever pealing true as in life we are invariably moving as umpires and participants at the same clip. For illustration, we abide by basic moral rules such as non to lie, darnel or bargain and at the same clip clasp others accountable to actions of the same nature. Arguments such as the one proposed by Ryrie, frequently lead people to believe that we should non knock actions that houses take when prosecuting their opportunism, nevertheless, it is absolutely apprehensible to admit that people do move in their opportunism and that they can be criticised for it ( Sorell and Hendry, day of the month ) .

The milling companies? in South Africa represent an oligopoly. The definition of an oligopoly is, ‘barriers to entry, few Sellerss, houses recognise their mutuality and may move independently or conspire ‘ ( Perloff, day of the month: page ) . Collusion takes topographic point when oligopolistic houses agree to restrict end product and operate like a monopoly. Trusts are illegal and affect consumer public assistance negatively. The inducement for houses to conspire is an addition in net incomes due to the higher monetary value that they charge. Trusts are really finely balanced, because if one house breaks the understanding, they may undersell other houses and expose the trust to the populace ( Perloff, day of the month ) .

Create 2 graphs comparing competition and oligopoly


As we all know Tiger Brands fixed the monetary value of staff of life and were holding conniving meetings with rivals. Not merely is this illegal, ”price-fixing trusts represented the most serious of the disputes of the Competition Act. ‘ ( lens implant, 2007 ) , and besides unethical but it besides has other major deductions in footings of the effects it has on the people, particularly the hapless.

Ethical idea:

‘The biggest corporation, like the humblest citizen, must be held to strict conformity with the will of the people. ‘ ( Theodore Roosevelt ) . Tiger Brands as one of ‘South Africa ‘s largest, oldest and ‘ up till now- respected companies. ‘ , has gone against the will of the people. ( National Consumer Forum, 2007 )

Breach of ethical behaviour:

Tiger Brands committed the undermentioned unethical behaviour in footings of the Fairness Principle.

1. ‘Stakeholders who have a vested involvement in the house should be treated reasonably. ‘ ( Stanwick & A ; Stanwick, 2009 )

2. ‘Fair competition focuses on the just intervention given by the house as it interacts with its bing and possible rivals. This would include guaranting that collusion does non happen between the house and its rivals refering to factors such as monetary value. ‘ ( Stanwick & A ; Stanwick, 2009 )

Tiger Brands besides disobeyed the followers of their ain ethical rules as stated in their ain codification of moralss:

1. ‘3.2 Duties of directors to clients: A director shall: 3.2.2 unwrap all relevant information sing the merchandises which clients can non reasonably learn for themselves. ‘

2. ‘3.2.3 Charge the in agreement monetary value or, where no monetary value was agreed, a just monetary value. ‘

3. ‘3.2.7 A director shall pull off the company with a position to accomplishing the greatest possible nest eggs and other benefits for clients and consumers ‘

4. ‘ Shall besides strive to cut down inefficiencies in the company, and set up criterions of efficiency in audience with other employees of the company. ‘ ( Tiger Brands, 2006 )


Because of this, ‘Tiger Brands has been ordered to pay a R98.7 million punishment by the Competition Commission after acknowledging to take parting in staff of life and milling trusts. ‘ ( Mail & A ; Guardianonline, 2007:1 )

Another mulct was imposed on Tiger Brands a few months subsequently as yet once more it was found to hold acted unethically. ‘Adcock Ingram Critical Care ( AICC ) – owned by Tiger Brands- was penalized with a R53million mulct for conniving tendering. At the clip this punishment was the highest, per centum wise, of all time levied for collusion. ‘ ( Leader, 2011:1 )


It is clear from the above that disciplinary justness has been imposed on Tiger Brands in the signifier of mulcts. But unluckily the full extent to which their unethical behaviour negatively affected the people of our state can non be reversed that easy.

The issue at manus of unethical behaviour by Tiger Brands is made worse by the undermentioned factors:

1. The dispute is all the more serious when it involves a merchandise such as staff of life, which is a nutrient basic of the hapless, and it affects ‘the poorest of the hapless ‘ ( lens implant, 2007 )

2. The sum of large concerns involved in this instance: ”the competition tribunal heard that the competition committee was look intoing a sum of 14 Millers whose concerns extend across the length and comprehensiveness of the state. ‘ ( lens implant, 2007 )

3. The extent to which consumers have overpaid for goods and the clip period of overpaying is ill-defined. ‘A major job is that we do n’t cognize how much we have been overpaying. ‘ ( Consumerfair, 2010 )

Another large impact that this anti-competitive behaviour could hold had is that smaller concerns might non hold been able to vie reasonably in the unfastened market. This can be achieved through, ‘The power of corporations to intimidate and sabotage little concerns through intimidation tactics and unjust concern patterns. ‘ ( National consumer forum, 2007 ) This would intend that the little concerns would n’t be able to last in the market.

This causes even more poorness, unemployment and could probably take to an even greater offense rate.

Another large issue is whether the mulcts imposed will someway be fed through to the people that were negatively affected? The competition committee will hold to make strategies to either develop sustainable growing chances for the people. It could besides administer money straight to those that genuinely necessitate it and hold been negatively affected by the monetary value repair and collusion. The bottom line is that the consumers still have n’t felt a great trade of betterment in footings of benefits received.

‘Commodity monetary values including wheat, have decreased by about 40 per centum in the past six months nevertheless the monetary value of staff of life and many other basic nutrient materials has non changed. ‘ ( SABC, 2009 ) This is a clear indicant that the hapless still suffers because of a complex web of prevarications created over an unknown clip period where large concerns have dominated the market over many old ages. The inquiry now is what can be done to rectify the harm caused and how to avoid it in the hereafter

Treatment of Whistle-blower



It can be said that a houses has duties towards their employees, in the same manner, employees have a duty towards the houses they work for ( Sorell and Hendry, day of the month ) . The inquiry that frequently plays on the heads of employees is of how much engagement is acceptable ( Sorell and Hendry, day of the month ) . What signifiers of behavior are acceptable, for illustration infringing on another employees ‘ privateness or lying to cover up something that could convey the houses into discredit ( Sorell and Hendry, day of the month ) . Theoretically, the ethical motives that one applies in mundane state of affairss should non differ to the 1s applied in the concern universe ( Sorell and Hendry, day of the month ) . However people tend to loosen their ethical motives in concern based on the belief that ‘all is just in love, war and concern. ‘ ( Sorell and Hendry, day of the month: pp ) . Those who abide by this rule can run into problem in the workplace.

Sabotaging the populace

Tiger Brands acted against the effectual corporate authorities norms in the manner that they did non protect those that were vulnerable to their unethical actions. Under the Dignity rule, which falls under the set of codifications that every corporation should continue, it states that every employee in the house should esteem each individual ‘s dignity-this includes factors such as guaranting each person ‘s human rights are protected, the bar of any type of humiliation and coercion and promote human development in the house every bit good as society ( Stanwick and Stanwick,2009 ) .

Tiger Brands was foremost in the intelligence for the bread monetary value repairing dirt that took topographic point in 2007. In November 2007, Tiger Brands was fined a sum of R98.8 million by the Competition Commission of South Africa for collusion. Tiger Brands had agreed with other staff of life companies to up the monetary value of staff of life by 30c to 35c per loaf. This mulct was a totalled to 5.7 per centum of their one-year staff of life gross revenues ( Wikipedia, 2011 ) .

Although our fundamental law protects consumer rights in South Africa, it is highly hard to do certain that the rights of each person are really respected in world. With the instance of Tiger Brands and their alleged monetary value repairing dirt it merely proves how vulnerable consumers are and merely how easy their rights can be abused by corporate power ( Bolani, 2007 ) . Unfortunately those who suffer the most from this maltreatment is the poorest families in South Africa who spend over half their monthly income on nutrient, and on staple nutrient points such as staff of life and maize repast. This highlights the fact that Tiger Brands consumers were being treated below the belt and in fact undermined and bullied ( Consumer Fair, 2010 ) . Corporations such as Tiger Brands need to gain that their actions have terrible effects and even though Tiger Brands paid a brawny mulct as penalty for their unethical behavior, one tends to inquire how the existent victims of these actions will be compensated.

Tiger Brands failed to confront up to their moral duties and remain true to the words in their mission statement in a state where 1000s of its people live in poorness. Their actions caused many of our citizens to travel place with less bread every dark than they deserved and were entitled to. It is argued that although Tiger Brands faced the legal effects of their actions, they have failed to move with ‘good manners ‘ and self-respect as they did non apologize to the populace for their illegal and unethical actions.

Consumers ‘ positions, sentiments and attitudes are critical to conniving policy. The grade to how severely the public position a house ‘s behavior to be will act upon their willingness to take part in monetary value repair and collusion. The harm caused by collusion amongst houses is non obvious towards people with hapless cognition refering the effects of such violations and the demand of enforcement. Greater cognition of these subjects is needed to do a strong hindrance consequence. The positions of the person will besides find how willing one is to describe and convey attending to this bad behavior particularly when they feel that they may be victims or if they feel their employers are involved ( Stephan, 2008 ) .

In 2008, Adcock Ingram, the parent company of Tiger Brands, one time once more set Tiger Brands in the public oculus for their conniving behavior this clip refering pharmaceutical merchandises. Adcock Ingram teamed up with three other pharmaceutical companies and manipulated the result of the tendering procedure by holding among each other which companies would tenderfor which merchandises so that they would non hold to vie against each other. Evidence shows that Adcock Ingram teamed up with their greatest rival Fresenius Kabi in tendering to provide endovenous trickles solutions to South Africa ‘s public infirmaries ( Saturday Star, 2008 ) . Evidence supplied by the Competition Commission shows that the conniving behavior seen by these houses added an extra R4 a unit to the monetary value that public infirmaries had to pay for these solutions and that these houses would at the really least supply public infirmaries with 17 million units per annum. This totals to a minimal net income of R68 million extra to the net income that they were already doing ( Star, 2008 ) . This figure is dismaying sing that these solutions are a necessity in the health care industry as they are used to feed critically injured patients who can non feed themselves. Adcock Ingram was fined a sum of R53,502,800.00 therefore being the highest all right yet in history for collusion, as it totalled a monolithic 8 per centum of their one-year turnover. This brings us to the statement of unethical patterns.

Ethical motives is a philosophical term derived from the Grecian word ‘ethos ‘ which means character or usage. A Code of Ethics or Standard of Conduct is a committedness made by houses to a doctrine. Ethical behavior will be regarded as morally acceptable if it is ‘good ‘ or ‘right ‘ and non ‘bad ‘ or ‘wrong ‘ in certain scenes. One wonders why people participate in unethical behavior even if they know it is incorrect or illegal- the ground being is that many houses frequently reward these behaviors in the signifier of fiscal addition. The person ‘s greed for money overrides concerns about human public assistance. Competition in itself in non unethical, it is when companies work together and organize trusts to pull strings the market to deliberately raise monetary values to accomplish higher net incomes at the disbursal of the consumer when it becomes unethical ( Helsom, 2008 ) .

When competition is managed decently it makes certain that clients receive the best merchandises for the best monetary value therefore the act of price-fixing is illegal and unethical and leads to pricing patterns that is unjust to the consumer. Artificially high monetary values rob the ordinary person of what is truly theirs and can be seen as the tallness of coldheartedness as consumers are being ripped off ( Natal Witness, 2010 ) . Unfortunately trusts are highly hard to place because they involve secret meetings between rivals. These rivals all have an involvement in maintaining these meetings secret because collusion is a detrimental signifier of anti-competitive behaviors and can give concerns a bad name and a bad repute. Normally the lone manner that one finds out about the unethical and fly-by-night trades that are traveling on is through whistle blowers.

If these houses that do n’t alter their ways volitionally, and say no to take parting in these unethical practices- the jurisprudence must coerce them to. Acting unethically does n’t ever intend moving illicitly, but some signifier of penalty must be put in topographic point to rectify the incorrect done to society and set a halt to this signifier of intimidation and selfish act.



‘Business moralss now seems to be enforcing positive moral responsibilities on commercial endeavors. ‘ ( Barry, 1998:68 ) Tiger brands has implemented many corporate societal duty programmes to assist the community. One wonders nevertheless if these are mere smoke screens. Sing the old issues of collusion and trust, Tiger Brands markets an image of a good corporate citizen, nevertheless neglects core legal and ethical duties. First we need to discourse whether CSR is a necessary practise, so the constituents of CSR and how tiger brands fulfils or contravenes each.

The demand for Corporate Social Respnsibility

In modern times, the application of moralss in the corporate universe has moved beyond implementing regulations and Torahs to the outlook of selfless moral actions from corporations. ( Barry, 1998 ) The inquiry that is polar to the issue of Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR ) is the 1 of whether the corporation is a moral agent or non ( Singer, 1997:68 ) . Associating to this is the inquiry of whether a corporation can hold a scruples ( Singer, 1997:68 ) . This leads to a bipartisan statement from really opposing sides.

On the one manus, the inquiry of whether a corporation is a moral agent or non, is a ‘non-starter ‘ ( Solomon in Singer, 1997:69 ) . One already takes for granted that the corporation is an independent entity in the community and society at big and it needs to place the duties that it possesses toward society ( Solomon in Singer, 1997 ) . Sing as the community produces the corporations, corporations should be identified as constituents of the community and hence they have duties and responsibilities toward the community ( Solomon in Singer, 1997 ) . These responsibilities and duties that the corporations possess are non implied understandings, but understandings that are polar to the being of the entity in society ( Solomon in Singer, 1997:69 ) . The ground why society is inquiring corporations to be socially responsible is due to the fact that corporations exist because the authorities helps them financially. Therefore it can be surmised that the corporations are indebted to society for this and need to supply a return to society ‘ other than the proviso of goods and employment. ( Barry, 1998 ) .On the other manus, the ‘Business is an economic agent with a resolved chase of excellence in economic public presentation. ‘ ( Sherwin in Singer, 1997:69 ) and whose chief end should be ‘Making net incomes within legal restraints. ‘ ( Friedman in Singer, 1997:69 ) . These point of views argue that the concern is in fact non a moral agent. What besides must be considered nevertheless, is that in order for concerns to win in their several markets, they need to pay close attending to the demands of employees, clients and stockholders ( Singer, 1997 ) . This concern is non the ultimate end of the corporation, but instead a manner of traveling about accomplishing the best economic public presentation possible ( Singer, 1997 ) . CSR may impede the public presentation of a corporation in a market and weaken their effectivity ( Sorell and Hendry, 1994 ) . This point of view is expressed largely in documents published in the decennaries of the 1950s and 1960s ( Sorell and Hendry, 1994 ) .

Friedman ‘s statement is frequently taken out of context, with accent on the first statement ‘ that of doing net incomes. However, Friedman goes on to state that the house should take ‘to make as much money as possible while conforming to the basic regulations of society, both those embodied in jurisprudence and those embodied in ethical usage. ‘ ( Friedman in Carroll, 1991:8 ) . In the instance of Tiger Brands, we see that both these point of views ‘ although contradictory ‘ were contravened by Tiger Brands. This is so in the sense that Tiger Brands broke both legal and societal outlooks: legal by violation on the Competition Commission Torahs in footings of Section 4 ( 1 ) ( B ) ( I ) and 4 ( 1 ) ( B ) ( two ) of the Competition Act of 1998 ( Lewis, D et Al, 2007 ) and socially in that the demands of consumers were undermined ( Bolani, 2007 ) .

The demand for CSR can therefore be identified based on the treatment set out above. Although on the one manus it is argued that CSR interferes with concern operations, this is overridden by the fact that corporations need to run within legal and ethical restraints as portion of their communities. The corporation is hence a moral agent and function theoretical account within society that needs to be scrutinised and held accountable by its citizens.

What is left to make is interrupt down the definition of CSR and to associate this to the instance of Tiger Brands.

Components of Corporate Social Responsibility

In modern times, the societal duty of the house has been adjusted to societal reactivity. Social reactivity includes corporations being active instead than passive in relation to CSR. The inquiry still remains of how to equilibrate the house ‘s societal and economic duties. Therefore, ethical and beneficent duties are included in the definition of CSR. In order for CSR to be recognised as a echt construct, CSR has to turn to all the duties a concern has to society. The most cardinal duty is the economic duty, followed by the legal, ethical and beneficent duties.

? Economic Duties

Economic duties include transporting out operations in such a manner that net income and net incomes per portion are maximised. Competitive advantage and operating efficiency must be maintained. In the past, concerns were created to function the community by supplying them with goods and services. Entrepreneurship was driven by the net income motivation. Nowadays nevertheless, the net income motivation is seen as net income maximization and this misconception has regaled of all time since. All duties of the house autumn below the economic duty of the corporation ( Carroll, 1991:2-4 ) .

Collusion and trust ‘ staff of life and pharmaceuticals

? Legal Duties

Businesss must transport out operations in a manner that complies with the outlooks of the authorities and the jurisprudence. It is chief for the house to be observant. A booming corporation is one that performs its legal committednesss. The goods and services that the house provides must run into the legal demands of the land. Legal duties are seen as ‘codified moralss ‘ in the sense that they represent the cardinal constructs of just operations ( Carroll, 1991:2-5 ) .

Perjury and mistreatment of employees

? Ethical Duties

It is appropriate for the corporation to move in a manner that is in line with the beliefs of society in footings of their mores and norms. The corporation should non transgress ethical norms in trying to achieve corporate ends. Good corporate citizenship must be characterised by making what is moral and ethical in the society, even though there are no Torahs set out. Corporate moralss must make further than merely what the jurisprudence requires of them. ( Carroll, 1991:5-6 )

Moral doctrine ‘ justness, rights and utilitarianism ( Find out more from Textbook, substantiate with other instances )

Against the involvements of society ‘ bread monetary value repair

? Philanthropic Responsibilities

It is appropriate for a house to move in a manner that is in line with the philanthropic and charitable outlooks of society. Directors and employees of corporations should take portion in voluntary events in their communities. The community ‘s ‘quality of life ‘ must be uplifted through the corporation ‘s actions. The difference between philanthropic and ethical duties is that philanthropic duties are desired by the community, but they are non a demand or demand. Philanthropy can be performed at the corporation ‘s discretion nevertheless the corporation must maintain in head the social outlook of philanthropic gift.

Link to tiger trade names

Bashs have CSR ‘ but the lower degrees are being neglected and they should be strong



Possible solutions:

The Torahs in our state are our chief defence against anti-competitive behaviour and unethical concern patterns. ‘The Competition Commission says it will supervise all companies involved in the production and distribution of basic nutrients. It ‘s warned it will take tough steps against monetary value repair. ( SABC, 2009:1 )

Another encouraging mark is that Tiger Brands have been willing to work with the competition committee to seek and deracinate any other unethical behaviour that might be taking topographic point in the market. ‘Tiger Brands brought to the committees attending extra information sing conniving activities in the milling industry and was granted conditional lenience in regard of this facet of its concern. ‘ ( Mail & A ; Guardianonline, 2007:1 )

It is clear that in-order to accomplish good administration and ethical patterns, private concerns need to work with the authorities sections involved and must stay by the Torahs in our state.