CCPC Fines Seven Fish Fingerlings Producers and Distributors 9% and 10% of their Annual Turnover for Cartel Conduct
The Board of Commissioners of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has fined seven (7) Fish Fingerlings Producers and Distributors in Zambia upto 10% percent of their annual turnover for price fixing.
The decision to fine the companies was made during the 48th Board of Commissioners meeting on Adjudication of cases held on 5th February 2021. This was after a Commission initiated investigation in April 2020, which found that Fish Fingerlings Producers and Distributors were engaged in a cartel when they issued a public notice for an impending uniform price increment for the price of fish fingerlings.
The seven companies namely; Palabana Fisheries Limited, Mukasa Agro Solutions and Fish Farm Limited, Savana Streams Limited; and Chirundu Bream Farm Limited, First Hatch Investment Limited, Iban Aquafish Solutions and Consultancy Limited; and Msekese Fisheries Limited were involved in collusive practices contrary to Section 8 and 9 of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) No. 24 of 2010.
Further, the investigation revealed that there was no justification for all companies to have a common pricing policy as each company had different production and distribution costs, and would therefore not all take the same time to produce and distribute the fish fingerlings.
The Board noted that the objective of the restrictive agreement not only increased prices of fish fingerlings but also reduced customer choice as competitive pricing was eliminated.
Based on these facts, the Board of Commissioners decided to fine six (6) Fish companies 9% and of their annual turnover and Palabana Fisheries Limited 10% in accordance with Section 8 and 9 of the CCPA.
We would like to warn businesses that are engaged in collusive arrangements to desist from such conduct. The Commission remains steadfast in its commitment to root out collusive and anti-competitive practices which negatively impact on Zambia’s quest to promote a competitive business environment and an inclusive economy for job creation.