Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

The Commission has opened an investigation into suspected price fixing of mealie meal prices by the Millers Association and its Members. On 29th October 2015, a team of Investigators from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) conducted a search (“dawn raid”) on 4 major milling companies in Lusaka for suspected engagement or facilitation in the fixing of mealie meal and flour prices.

Four (4) Teams of Commission Investigators arrived simultaneously at the premises of the Millers’ Association of Zambia (MAZ), National Milling Corporation (NMC), Superior Milling Company Limited and Simba Milling Company Limited in Lusaka around 10:40hours in search of documentary evidence showing that the Association and its members were coordinating in setting mealie meal and flour prices, conduct likely to result in the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition in the supply and pricing of the two commodities.

The Commission has observed that in the period between 2010 to 2015, the Millers’ Association of Zambia (MAZ) acting with other parties are reasonably suspected of participating in or facilitating conduct likely to result in the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition in the supply and pricing of mealie meal and flour. The Commission suspects that the Association and its members have been agreeing to simultaneously increase the price of mealie meal and flour. On 4th October 2015, MAZ issued a press statement informing the general public that it had together with its members resolved to increase the price of mealie meal by between K10 and K15 per 25kg bag, thereby triggering a price increase of the country’s staple food.

The alleged conduct by MAZ and its members is contrary to Sections 8 and 9(1) (a) of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act No. 24 of 2010 which prohibits agreements, decisions or concerted practices that prevent, restrict of distort competition and agreements that fix, whether directly or indirectly, a purchase or selling price or any trading conditions of goods and services.

A Director whose company is found liable upon conviction by a court of law for violating the law will be fined not exceeding five hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both. In addition, a company that is found guilty is liable to pay the Commission a fine not exceeding ten percent of its annual turnover.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. If you see frequent state interventions into commodity pricing, in a supposedly free market economy, then look up. The writing is on the wall.

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    • The beginning of the end of a free market enterprise as we know it. The clock is now ticking in reverse to the UNIP days. This is what used to happen; the only difference is that then, this type of exercise was carried by UNIP “Youths” and Vigilantes. .

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    • The chosen one I am really disappointed that you have made such a comment knowing that you live in the United Kingdom.Free market does not mean fixing prices to exploit the masses.The commisssion is doing the right thing.Welldone.Millers should not be allowed to form a cartel to exploit the masses.Its illigal even in the Western world so do not decive us on this platform,Search how UK Govt.have delt with companies that wants to exploit the masses

      United Kingdom competition law is affected by both British and European elements. The Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002 are the most important statutes for cases with a purely national dimension. However if the effect of a business’ conduct would reach across borders, the European Commission has competence to deal with the…

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  2. smh…this govt has really lost the plot. After maligning Farmers with increased costs, Universities because of poor management and police brutality you are now gunning for Industry…wake up! You have lost control of the situation and unless you stop this misbehaving your exit will be a humiliating one.

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  3. The chosen one I am really disappointed that you have made such a comment knowing that you live in the United Kingdom.Free market does not mean fixing prices to exploit the masses.The commisssion is doing the right thing.Welldone.Millers should not be allowed to form a cartel to exploit the masses.Its illigal even in the Western world so do not decive us on this platform,Search how UK Govt.have delt with companies that wants to exploit the masses

    United Kingdom competition law is affected by both British and European elements. The Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002 are the most important statutes for cases with a purely national dimension. However if the effect of a business’ conduct would reach across borders, the European Commission has competence to deal with the…

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  4. United Kingdom competition law is affected by both British and European elements. The Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002 are the most important statutes for cases with a purely national dimension. However if the effect of a business’ conduct would reach across borders, the European Commission has competence to deal with the problems, and exclusively EU law would apply. Even so, the section 60 of the Competition Act 1998 provides that UK rules are to be applied in line with European jurisprudence. Like all competition law, that in the UK has three main tasks.

    prohibiting agreements or practices that restrict free trading and competition between business entities. This includes in particular the repression of cartels.
    banning abusive behaviour by a firm dominating a…

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  5. Mind you, the key phrase is “upon conviction by a court of law.” Meaning the CCPC will have to present evidence and prove that there was collusion. Considering how lethargic the wheels of the Zambian justice system are, it may take years to conclude…

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