THE Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) has begun investigations into the barter trade agreement between Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) and the cable manufacturer Cafca, amid allegations the deal was shutting out other players.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
In a statement released yesterday, the commission invited interested parties to submit written representations citing the alleged restrictive practices by ZETDC and Cafca in which the power utility is supplied with aluminium electricity conductors in exchange for copper scrap.
CTC said, owing to the barter trade agreement, no other company could supply ZETDC with aluminium conductors thereby restricting competition in the market of distribution of aluminium electricity conductors.
Section 28 of the Competition Act empowers the commission to undertake investigations into any restrictive practice which the commission has reason to believe exists or may come into existence.
“Prima facie, the agreement between ZETDC and Cafca may constitute restrictive practice in terms of the Act with the effect that it may restrict the entry of other aluminium electricity conductor suppliers into the market of distribution of aluminium electricity conductors,” CTC said.
“It should be noted that the commencement of the investigations neither pre-supposes that the conduct being investigated is anti-competitive nor that any of the parties to the agreement have violated the provisions of the Act.”
Submissions to the commission have to be done no later than May 31.
The CTC is a statutory body established under the Competition Act. The present Commission is a product of the merger in 2001 of the former Industry and Trade Competition Commission and Tariff Commission.