(From Business Day (South Africa))
Byline: Hilary Joffe
HARMONY-MITTAL RULING/ Steel and the price of competition DOES the Competition Tribunal's judgment in the Harmony-Mittal case provide answers to the big questions that the case raised? Innovative as it is, it's not clear that the judgment settles the thorny macroeconomic and competition law issues that were first brought to the fore nearly five years ago, when the case was launched.
And it's not over yet. Though the tribunal found that Mittal was indeed charging excessive prices for its flat steel products, it has yet to decide what penalty to impose. And Mittal could appeal against the judgment.
Harmony and fellow gold producer DRDGold complained to the competition authorities that Iscor (now Mittal SA) was charging them excessive prices for their steel because of the import parity pricing system it used. Import parity pricing has long been a bugbear for government, which is convinced its use is keeping input costs higher than they …