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South African Bread Price-Fixing

March 2014

Hausfeld LLP has been assisting Charles Abrahams of Abrahams Kiewitz in Capetown, South Africa in participating in groundbreaking litigation on behalf of bread consumers in South Africa’s Western Cape province. The case alleges that bread producers Pioneer Foods, Tiger Consumer Brands and Premier Foods – which were found guilty of price-fixing by South Africa’s Competition Tribunal in 2007 – colluded to fix the selling price of bread. These defendants have a combined market share of approximately 60 percent of the Western Cape bread market.

Plaintiffs in this case are low-income consumers of standard white or brown bread who shopped at informal retail outlets for bread produced by the defendants from December 18, 2006 through February 14, 2007 in the City of Cape Town or the Cape Winelands District.

On November 29, 2012, a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) determined the requirements for the filing of a class action in the South Africa courts. The ruling, which allows the case to proceed under the guidelines set by the court, overturned an August 2011 decision of the Western Cape High Court. Following this ruling, Abrahams Kiewitz and Hausfeld LLP filed a revised "particulars of claim" against the three bread producer defendants on February 28, 2013 before the Western Cape High Court. Subsequent briefing by the parties concluded in June 2013. The attorneys expect a decision by the Western Cape High Court during the 2014 year.

This litigation has the potential to reshape the legal landscape in South Africa, as it will redefine the country’s framework for major class action lawsuits.

For more information, please contact the Hausfeld LLP attorneys working the matter, Michael D. Hausfeld and Reena A. Gambhir. 

Practice Areas: Antitrust / Competition

 

Supporting Documents

» The Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa Judgment (PDF)

 

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