Murray & Roberts in leniency application
By Helen Wright20 April 2011
Murray & Roberts has filed an application for leniency with the South African Competition Commission over possible cartel activity by its general contracting subsidiary, Concor.
The company has taken advantage of the fast-track settlement process set up by the Competition Commission at the start of February. This encouraged companies to come forward and disclose any known irregular practices, in return for more lenient penalties. The deadline for applications was 15 April.
Murray & Roberts said an internal investigation had identified a number projects primarily undertaken by Concor where competition laws, "May have been transgressed through the unauthorised actions of senior executives".
"The Group has now lodged Corporate Leniency Provision applications for these projects, but may well be exposed to the application of a penalty in terms of the rules of the fast track process," Murray & Roberts said, adding that the potential breaches occurred in 2007, prior to its acquisition of Concor.
"It is possible, however, that the fast track process may identify further projects where Concor and/or Murray & Roberts have transgressed," the company said.
The news comes after the Competition Commission said it was investigating 65 bid rigging cases in the country's construction sector involving over 70 projects with an estimated value of ZAR 29 billion (US$ 4 billion).
The Commission has handed down a string of fines to contractors and materials producers in the construction sector, with the latest coming in the form of a US$ 18.7 million fine levied at Aveng in March over its involvement in collusion in the rebar and wire mesh construction markets.