Closing argument in Unilever case presented

Closing argument in Unilever case presented

CAPE TOWN – Lawyers representing Unilever South Africa and the Competition Commission on Tuesday presented closing arguments before the Competition Tribunal. 

Unilever SA – the local subsidiary of the Dutch multinational consumer goods company, Unilever – has been accused by the commission of dividing markets, in contravention of the Competition Act. 

The commission alleged that Unilever and the edible fats and oil company, Sime Darby Hudson Knight (Sime Darby) entered into an agreement or arrangement from 2004 to 2013, to divide markets by allocating specific types of goods and customers. 

Sime Darby entered into a settlement agreement with the commission in 2016, admitting that it had concluded an agreement to divide markets. 

It agreed, among others, to pay an administrative penalty of R35 million. 

Unilever has argued that the agreement could not be construed as an anti-competitive agreement as it was, among other things, incidental and necessary to facilitate a vertical arrangement between the two, entered into as part of a global Unilever strategy of divestment from the refinery business.