October 24, 2012 / 12:16 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-South Africa charges oil majors with price-fixing

* Says companies shared information on sales

* Names Chevron, BP, Total, Shell, Sasol, Engen

* Asks for fine of 10 pct of 1 year’s revenue

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 24 (Reuters) - South Africa’s competition watchdog said on Wednesday it had brought charges of price-fixing against the local units of major oil companies including Chevron, BP and Total.

The Competition Commission also said in a statement the companies - as well as Shell, Sasol and Engen - had shared detailed information about sales and customers to hinder competition.

The suspected collusion ran from the late 1980s to 2005 and included petrol, diesel, illuminating kerosene and other products, the commission said.

“Information at this level of detail allowed the oil companies to closely track each other’s sales and to align their strategies in the market, eliminating competition between themselves,” the commission said.

“This also enabled them to divide or allocate markets by deciding not to enter, or compete for, certain geographic markets or customer groupings,” it said.

The commission said it had asked South Africa’s Competition Tribunal, which rules on such cases, to levy a fine equal to 10 percent of company revenue in the preceding financial year.

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