FTC findings point to breaches
INTERLOCKING DIRECTORSHIPS, exclusionary conduct and discriminatory pricing were among the alleged anti-competitive practices attracting the attention of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) in 2012.
According to the regulatory body’s 2012 annual report, its second investigative study into incidents of interlocking directorships found that there were several instances of one director serving on multiple boards.
“To date the report has identified one instance of a director serving on the board of two competing companies.
“Additional research is being conducted to understand the purpose of such arrangements and to find behavioural evidence that would indicate whether the particular interlocking directorships and any others identified have led to a lessening of competition between the relevant companies,” the report said.
In most cases, however, the FTC noted that the companies involved were affiliated to the same parent company but were not “significant competitors”.
These companies were therefore not in breach of the Fair Competition Act.
Meanwhile, the commission also investigated an allegation of discriminatory prices at the Arawak Cement Plant and its preliminary report deemed the company’s action to be in breach of the act.
“The commission found that Arawak charges particular manufacturers a weighbridge charge when they visit Arawak’s premises and use the weighbridge while forgoing the same weighbridge charge on other competing manufacturers . . . ,” the report stated.
The FTC also began an investigation into the allegation that British-headquartered photography company ColorBox, which has a studio in Barbados, was involved in exclusionary conduct in the destination photography industry.
According to the report, ColorBox was said to be persuading the main hotels in the destination wedding business to enter into exclusive contracts in which all of the weddings being hosted by each hotel which would be photographed exclusively by ColorBox.
“It was alleged that other local photographers were being closed out of this area of business and in addition, customers were being denied the right to choose the photographer of their preference,” the FTC said.
Investigation in the matter were ongoing. (NB)