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Raids at Mpact, New Era offices in collusion probe

Competition Commission suspects price collusion between companies.

South Africa’s Competition Commission said it’s searching offices of packaging-paper producers Mpact and New Era Packaging, as part of an investigation into allegations of pricing collusion involving the two companies.

“The commission has reasonable grounds to suspect that New Era and Mpact have engaged in collusive practices,” the Pretoria-based antitrust regulator said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday. The Competition Act “prohibits competitors from reaching agreements to fix prices, allocate customers or rig tenders.” 

Spokesmen for Johannesburg-based Mpact and closely-held New Era weren’t immediately available to comment.

Mpact shares pared earlier gains to trade 2.8% higher at R39.37 at 12:44pm in Johannesburg. The stock has fallen 16% this year, valuing the company at R6.6 billion ($424 million).

“The Competition Commission takes allegations of collusion in this sector seriously,” Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said in the statement.

© 2016 Bloomberg

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