Gauteng News

Two suppliers of face masks prosecuted for over pricing

The Competition Commission has referred two major suppliers to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution for allegedly charging excessive prices on face masks on Tuesday. Sicuro Safety and Hennox Supplies are being charged with contravening the Competition Act.

Previously the commission also referred Dis-Chem pharmacies and Matus to the tribunal for allegedly committing the same offence regarding masks. The commission investigated and found that the two firms’ prices for the filtering Face Piece 1 (FFP1) mask increased astronomically by more than 969.07% and 956%, as charged by Sicuro and Hennox.

According to the Competition Commission’s head of Communications Sipho Ngwema the two companies had failed to provide an explanation as to why they had been charging so much for masks. The Competition Commission’s believed that they only did so after the outbreak of COVID-19. Ngwema said that they wanted the companies to stop over increasing prices.

“The two companies increased their prices astronomically by about 1000%. The commission takes a dim view of such companies and we are going to act against them strongly and we want to assure all consumers that we will protect them against such uncompetitive behavior,” said Ngwema.

Meanwhile the Commission has asked the Tribunal to issue an interdict prohibiting the firms from continuing with any excessive pricing products.

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