South Africa’s Competition Commission on Thursday recommended Shoprite‘s retail unit, which houses the country’s biggest supermarket chain, be fined 10% of its turnover for anti-competitive behaviour.
Shoprite shares fell more than 4% after the commission referred it to the country’s Competition Tribunal, which will ultimately decide if the commission’s charges and proposed fine should stand.
The retailer does not disclose turnover for its individual units in its financial statements, but Shoprite Checkers, which includes all of Shoprite’s supermarket brands as well as its liquor, furniture, meat and money businesses, is its biggest money maker.
Overall, Shoprite’s businesses brought in R145.3 billion in revenue in 2018.
Computicket, its event ticket selling subsidiary, was also charged and fined the same amount as its retail unit.
The Competition Commission said in a statement Computicket had signed agreements with inventory providers in the entertainment industry that enabled it to discriminate on prices between different-sized customers and served to exclude its competitors.
Shoprite did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Its shares had recovered to R181, a decline of 2.38%, by 1148 GMT.
The case marks the second time the commission has referred Computicket to the Competition Tribunal, with a decision on similar charges spanning the period 1999 to December 2012 still pending.
This is the first time that Shoprite has been added as a respondent to the charges, however, with the current case covering the period from January 2013 to present.