Oceana's $4.34 million settlement for fish price-fixing

May 08, 2012

South Africa's Competition Commission has concluded a settlement with Oceana to resolve charges of price-fixing and market allocation in the pelagic fish industry. Pelagic fish include anchovies, pilchards and red eye.

Among its admissions made as part of its settlement, Ocean conceded that members of the South African Pelagic Fish Processors Association agreed to fix prices to be paid to vessel owners/operators, skippers and crew for catching pelagic fish. Oceana and its competitors shared sensitive pricing information for the processing and canning of fish. Oceana and Pioneer Fishing--which applied for and received conditional leniency for its cooperation in the Competition Commission's investigation--had agreed not to compete for suppliers of fish in Mossel Bay.

The terms of the settlement also call for a penalty of R34,750,050 (approximately $4.34 million), which is 5 percent of Ocean's 2010 turnover for pelagic fish operations.

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