Three recruitment ad agencies in trouble with competition authorities

Human Communications‚ Kone Staffing and Jobvest, whose main clients are government departments, face prosecution for market division and price fixing

The Competition Commission has decided to prosecute three advertising practitioners specialising in recruitment advertising services for price fixing‚ market division and collusive tendering.

The commission found that Human Communications‚ Kone Staffing and Jobvest had discussed and agreed on prices at which to quote their customers.

“The respondents’ services include linking job seekers to potential employers and assisting their clients to place advertisements in newspapers. They also receive and process responses to the advertisements on behalf of clients. The respondents’ main clients are government departments and municipalities‚” the commission said.

“The respondents discussed their responses to requests for quotations and decided on the price which each would tender for its services.

“The respondents agreed on how to rotate advertising work amongst each other.

“This constitutes price fixing‚ market division and collusive tendering in contravention of section 4(1)(b)(i)‚ (ii) and (iii) of the Competition Act.

“In addition‚ an agreement to engage in collusion is presumed among the respondents as they had a director in common between 2006 and 2015.

“The commission is of the view that the respondents were engaged in horizontal restrictive practices (a relationship between competitors at the same level).”

The case has been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to rooting out collusive and anticompetitive practices which impact negatively on SA’s quest towards an inclusive economy and job creation‚” said Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.


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