Zambia Sugar disputes CCPC’s unfair pricing findings

Zambia Sugar Plc says it will file an appeal to the Competition Tribunal against CCPC’s decision to fine the firm K76,728,650 for price discrimination and unfair pricing.

In a statement today, Zambia Sugar Managing Director Rabecca Katowa stated that the company was in the process of preparing an appeal.

“Zambia Sugar acknowledges the Press Statement put out by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) which has imposed a substantial fine on the company for alleged ‘abuse of dominance’ in the Zambian marketplace. We dispute the CCPC’s findings, both from a factual and a legal perspective. We are therefore in the process of preparing an appeal to the Competition Tribunal which will be filed within the prescribed time period. This matter will only be finalised when the appeal process has been concluded,” Katowa stated.

She stated that the company’s pricing policies were objectively justifiable.

“We respect the office of the CCPC and have co-operated with the authority during its four-year investigation. We will continue to participate in the process in an open and transparent manner, as we have done in the past. Zambia Sugar abides by the highest standards of corporate governance and we are confident that our pricing policies are objectively justifiable. We value our position as one of Zambia’s largest agricultural companies and remain committed to the growth and development of Zambia, its economy and its people.
As the matter is still subject to legal process, Zambia Sugar has no further comment on the allegations or findings at this stage,” stated Katowa.

This morning, the CCPC Board of Commissioners announced that it had fined Zambia Sugar PLC K76,728,650 for price discrimination and unfair pricing.

CCPC Board of Commissioners Chairperson Kelvin Bwalya Fube stated that after carrying out investigations from 2008 to 2012, it had been revealed that both industrial sugar consumers and household sugar consumers were being exploited.

“The Board of the Commissioners of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has fined Zambia Sugar PLC, an Illovo Group subsidiary, a fine of five per cent equivalent to K76,728,650 of their annual turnover as at 2013, for price discrimination and unfair pricing in the Zambia Sugar Industry in Zambia. Further, the Board has ordered them too formulate competitive prices for both household and industrial sugar sold in the domestice market. The decision to fine the company was made during the Third Special Board of Commissioners’ Meeting for adjudication of cases held in Lusaka on 25th September, 2017. This was after a protracted investigation by CCPC which found that Zambua Sugar had engaged in unfair pricing against selected household sugar users as well as price discrimination among industrial sugar users, household sugar users and further, between the domestic household sugar users and regional household sugar users,” stated KBF.

         

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