The Namibian Competition Commission this week confirmed that it concluded settlement agreements with Santam Namibia and Hollard Insurance in respect of an investigation relating to alleged price fixing in contravention of the Competition Act, Act 2 of 2003.
The Commission in a statement said that preliminary investigation findings were that the two insurance companies engaged in price fixing in contravention of the Competition Act by coming together and setting maximum mark-ups1 and rates that panel beaters should charge for repairs to insured vehicles.
"The aforementioned conduct is a contravention of section 23(1)2 read with section 23(2)(a) 3 and 23(3)(a)4 of the Competition Act," the statement read.
The Commission said as part of the settlement, both Santam and Hollard have admitted to an unintended contravention of section 23 of the Competition Act.
The negotiations further confirmed that Santam pay a fine of N$15 million, while Hollard pays a fine of N$ 5.5 million for the contravention, the Commission added.
The Commission said the two insurance companies have further committed to implement measures to mitigate the risk of future competition law violations within their respective workplaces.
According to the Commission the settlement agreements are the culmination of an investigation against various insurance companies including Santam, Hollard as well as Old Mutual Short-Term Insurance Company, Outsurance Insurance Company of Namibia, Phoenix Namibia Assurance, Alexander Forbes Insurance and Momentum Short-Term Insurance.
Meanwhile, the Commission will continue to monitor the behaviour of these companies through regular compliance reports to be submitted to the Commission.
"We will accordingly and in due course submit both the Santam and Hollard settlement agreements to Court for confirmation, whereafter the fines imposed will be paid over to the Commission," the statement said.
The Commission furthermore said it is at the cusp of finalizing its investigation against the remaining insurance companies that have not settled and will in due course make a final determination in terms of section 38 of the Competition Act in respect of whether or not it will refer the other insurance companies to Court for having contravened the Competition Act.