(The following press release from the Competition Commission was received
by e-mail. The sender verified the statement.)
Today, the Competition Commission (the Commission) is conducting a search and
seizure operation at the offices of Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd in Durban,
Kwa-Zulu Natal and Sime Darby Hudson & Knight (Pty) Ltd in Boksburg,
The search and seizure operation forms part of the Commission's ongoing
investigation into collusive conduct in the markets for the manufacture and
supply of edible oils and margarine to wholesale and retail customers. The
Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that information relevant to this
investigation is in the possession of employees of the two companies.
The Commission is conducting the operation with due regard to the rights
of both Unilever SA and Sime Darby and all the affected persons. During the
search the Commission will seize documents and electronic data, which will be
analysed together with other information gathered to determine whether a
contravention of the Competition Act has taken place.
In terms of section 48 of the Competition Act, the Commission is
authorised to enter and search premises and seize documents which have a
bearing on an investigation. The Commission duly obtained warrants authorizing
it to search the offices of Sime Darby and Unilever SA from the North Gauteng
High Court and the Pietermaritzburg High Court respectively.
The Acting Commissioner, Tembinkosi Bonakele said, "The Commission
believes that the information that will be obtained from today's operation will
enable the Commission to determine whether or not Unilever SA and Sime Darby
have indeed engaged in collusive conduct. However, as part of any
investigation, we also wish to urge anyone, be it business or individuals with
further information to come forward and assist the Commission in concluding
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