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Dis-Chem withdraws Competition Tribunal appeal

But maintains it did not break the law by increasing surgical mask prices in March.
Image: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

Dis-Chem will no longer appeal the Competition Tribunal’s decision, which found the pharmacy chain guilty of excessive pricing on its surgical face masks. It will pay the R1.2 million administrative penalty imposed on it.

Dis-Chem says this is despite legal advice stating the likely success of the appeal, given the Competition Act’s requirements.

It says the tribunal’s decision is informed by justifiable anger at recently-exposed procurement abuses in personal protective equipment (PPE) provision, at taxpayers’ expense.

“Dis-Chem is not involved in any of these scandals and, together with the rest of the country, is upset at these developments. It appears, however, that the ongoing appeal on entirely different legal issues could taint Dis-Chem’s reputation by misplaced association,” it says.

Ivan Saltzman, CEO of Dis-Chem, is adamant that the price adjustment of surgical masks in March was “justified” given the increased costs it was facing and its commitment to ensure stock availability.

“We remain confident that we neither overcharged nor broke the law…. It is important to recall that in April 2020, Dis-Chem reduced its mask prices when its costs started reducing, even before the Competition Commission began its investigation.

“As such, we believe that we would have succeeded on appeal. However, we would rather move forward and focus on delivering value to consumers for the products they need, especially during the continued challenging environment.”

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They get a fine, while the Government connected walk away with millions, just does not make sense.

This is SAs ruling elite problem, can’t have Capitalism only when one wants it, or when it’s to your benefit, then Socialism around elections, sends out a confusing message to the world, investor don’t invested where there’s confusion

Makes no sense: Dischem confident that they’ll win the appeal, but worried that if the appeal court clears it of wrongdoing the company may taint its reputation. Huh? What makes more sense is that they fear losing the appeal, hence the decision to walk away rather than putting their already dented reputation at further risk.

Good move Dischem….
It is better to ask for forgiveness than for approval…. Tiger brands should learn from this page.

Our family was a Dischem family

1. Then came their refusal to pay rent – their stores were some of the few ones open.
2. Then came the revelation that they were paying the directors rental for warehouses the directors lease to the company. How stupid can they be?
3. Then came the price gouging on PPE.
4. Then less known the money they made from covid tests and changing from a reputable lab to one with a record of false negative results. Three false negatives in my household!

All the way through the usual deny deny deny.

We will not be darkening their doorstep again. Have opened family account at family-owned pharmacy in town that does not have 80% floorspace dedicated to flogging sweets, fake muscle powder and pills & powders pomising outrageous health benefits.

End of comments.

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