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South African Watchdog Charges Major Oil Companies with Price Fixing

How do those at the top stay at the top? They cheat?!?

Well that could be the case in South Africa. The country’s competition watchdog, The Competition Commission, announced today that it is charging the local units of some major international oil companies with price fixing activities.

The companies which include; Chevron, BP, Total, Shell, Sasol, and Engen, have been accused of sharing detailed company information about sales and customers from the late 1980s up to 2005 with the aim of reducing competition from other organisations.

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As part of the charges the Competition Commission explained that “information at this level of detail allowed the oil companies to closely track each other's sales and to align their strategies in the market, eliminating competition between themselves. This also enabled them to divide or allocate markets by deciding not to enter, or compete for, certain geographic markets or customer groupings.”

They have requested that the Competition Tribunal consider levying a fine against each company involved equivalent to 10 percent of revenue from the previous year.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com



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