Unilever, Sime Darby raided after price-fixing scandal

JOHANNESBURG - Two major South African food suppliers are in the midst of another price-fixing scandal -- this time around margarine and oil products. 
 
The Competition Commission is investigating Unilever and Sime Darby for collusive conduct in the margarine and oil markets. 
 
In 2007, Tiger Brands was slapped with a fine of almost R100-million for its role in bread price-fixing.
 
Investigators from the Competition Commission descended on Unilever&39;s head office in Durban while a second raid was conducted in Johannesburg at the offices of the Malaysian multinational Sime Darby.
 
The Commission is looking for physical and electronic documents to support allegations of price-fixing in the edible oil and margarine sectors.
 
Marvello margarine and Crispa oil are among the brands in question.
 
In a statement, the Commission said -- in terms of Section 48 of the Competition Act -- it was authorised to enter and search premises and seize documents. 
 
It has also urged anyone with information to come forward. 
 
Unilever would only confirm that the raid took place and said it was cooperating with authorities.
 
Analysis of the information gathered by the Commission is expected to take several weeks.