MiX Telematics 'disappointed' with cartel conduct probe

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Stefan Joselowitz, CEO of MiX Telematics.
Stefan Joselowitz, CEO of MiX Telematics.

JSE-listed MiX Telematics is "disappointed" it is being charged by the Competition Commission for allegedly engaging in cartel conduct.

Yesterday, the Competition Commission said it referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution fleet management solutions suppliers Mix Telematics Africa, Fleetco, Hyper Auto, Soltrack and Tectra Telematics for alleged cartel conduct.

The firms were charged with alleged market division by allocating customers in the market for the provision of value-added fleet management solutions in contravention of the Competition Act, the commission says.

It adds this follows an investigation initiated by the commissioner on 8 November 2016.

The commission's investigation found that between at least 1998 to date, MiX has had an agreement with Fleetco, Hyper Auto, Soltrack and Tectra Telematics that it would refrain from approaching their customers.

"This conduct amounts to market division by allocating customers in contravention of the Competition Act," the commission says.

The commission has asked the tribunal to impose an administrative penalty of 10% on the companies' turnover.

In a statement issued this morning, MiX Telematics says it has co-operated fully with the commission throughout its investigation and is studying the contents of the referral to the tribunal, received late yesterday afternoon.

"MiX Telematics has worked closely with its legal advisors during this process and is disappointed at the commission's decision to refer the matter," says Stefan Joselowitz, CEO of MiX Telematics.

"As previously disclosed to shareholders, the investigation concerns MiX Telematics' relationship with some of our channel partners in South Africa. We remain of the opinion that the relationship with our channel partners is entirely in line with accepted competition principles."

The company adds that should the tribunal rule against MiX Telematics, it may be liable to an administrative penalty in terms of the Competition Act.

"We continue to believe that the referral from the commission is without merit. While the company cannot predict the timing of a resolution, or the ultimate outcome of the matter, we are confident that we have consistently adhered to all applicable laws and regulations," Joselowitz adds.

Shareholders will be informed of the outcome of the referral to the tribunal, the company concludes.

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