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South Africa: ArcelorMittal fined millions for price fixing

(AGI) - Cape Town, Aug. 22 - Steel maker ArcelorMittal in South Africa has agree...

South Africa: ArcelorMittal fined millions for price fixing
ArcelorMittal - afp

(AGI) - Cape Town, Aug. 22 - Steel maker ArcelorMittal in South Africa has agreed to pay a 1.5 billion rand (about 97.6 million Euro) fine for illegal price fixing, the country's competition commission said today.The fine follows after ArcelorMittal South Africa, part of the global ArcelorMittal group, admitted guilt to two of the six matters pending before the commission. The company admitted guilt to "the long steel matter", relating to allegations of fixing prices, allocating customers and sharing commercially sensitive information. However, the company denied allegations of collusion in the flat steel and wire rod markets. The fine brought to an end to all proceedings against the company, the commission said. Investigations into the local steel industry in South Africa began in 2008, following concerns about high and increasing steel prices, despite the country being a net exporter of steel. South Africa's Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said the penalty sent a strong message of deterrence and was an important milestone in the commission's enforcement against cartels. "In addition, the pricing remedy reflects our desire to protect South African consumers against dominant firms, particularly on key industrial products," he said. The penalty is payable over five years as from 2017. The instalments are to be no less than R300 million (about 19.5 million Euro) per year. ArcelorMittal has also committed to capital investment of at least R4.6bn (about 299 million Euro) over the five year period subject to it being affordable and feasible in the light of the financial circumstances. (AGI) .