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Local insurance companies fined N$20.5 million for price fixing

Local insurance companies fined N$20.5 million for price fixing

Zorena Jantze

THE Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC)  has concluded settlement agreements with Santam Namibia Ltd and the Hollard Insurance Company of Namibia Ltd in respect to an investigation relating to alleged price fixing.

Pictured: Dina Gowases, spokesperson for NaCC. Photo: contributed

Dina Gowases, spokesperson of NaCC, stated that the settlement agreements are the culmination of an investigation against various insurance companies including Santam, Hollard, as well as Old Mutual Short-Term Insurance Company (Namibia) Ltd, Outsurance Insurance Company of Namibia Ltd, Phoenix Namibia Assurance Company Ltd, Alexander Forbes Insurance and Momentum Short-Term Insurance Ltd.

Gowases explained that the Commission’s preliminary investigation findings were that the aforementioned insurance companies engaged in price fixing in contravention of the Competition Act by coming together and setting maximum mark-ups and rates that panel beaters should charge for repairs to insured vehicles.

The aforementioned conduct is a contravention of section 23(1)2 read with section 23(2)(a) 3 and 23(3)(a)4 of the Competition Act.

“The Commission wishes to commend the proactive and cooperative stance adopted by Santam and Hollard in seeking to remedy their contravention of the Competition Act and for having provided the Commission with useful information regarding its investigation. The Commission is furthermore pleased that Santam and Hollard have taken steps to cease with the conduct that is the subject matter of the Commission’s investigation,” Gowases stated.

She further said the Commission is at the cusp of finalising its investigation against the remaining insurance companies that have not settled and will in due course make a final determination in terms of section 38 of the Competition Act in respect of whether or not it will refer the other insurance companies to Court for having contravened the Competition Act. 

“The Commission wishes to emphasise that the window remains open for other insurance companies to approach the Commission for settlement on this matter,” Gowases concluded.

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