Picture: BLOOMBERG
Picture: BLOOMBERG

THE Competition Commission said on Wednesday it had conducted search and seizure operations at the Gauteng premises of PG Glass, Glasfit, Shatterprufe and Digicall, as part of "an investigation into alleged collusion".

It said the dawn raid formed part of an ongoing probe into allegations of price-fixing and division of markets by PG Glass and Glasfit in the provision of automotive glass fitment and repair services.

The commission obtained a warrant authorising it to search the offices of the firms at the High Court in Pretoria.

The commission said Shatterprufe supplied PG Glass and Glasfit with automotive glass, while Digicall processed automotive glass-related insurance claims on behalf of PG Glass and Glasfit.

"The commission has reasonable grounds to believe that information relevant to this investigation is on the premises of the four firms," it said on Wednesday.

"The commission is conducting the operation with due regard to the rights of the firms and all the affected persons," it said.

The commission obtained a warrant authorising it to search the offices of the firms at the High Court in Pretoria. It said seized documents and electronic data would be analysed together with "other information gathered to determine whether a contravention of the Competition Act has taken place".

"We … we are working with the Competition Commission which is currently conducting an investigation into alleged collusive conduct involving Glasfit, PG Glass, Shatterprufe and Digicall," Glasfit’s managing director Ruben Moggee said on Wednesday.

"We will work with the Competition Commission to resolve the matters raised. This does not impact our operations and our service delivery to our insurance customers and their your policyholders will continue unaffected," he said.

Meanwhile, PG Group, which owns Shatterprufe and PG Glass, on Wednesday confirmed the Competition Commission had raided its premises.

"The investigation pertains to claims made in May 2013 by some independent glass fitment operators, alleging that PG Glass carried out collusive activities preventing competition in the automotive glass repair and fitment market," said PG Group CEO Charles Bromley.

He said the group would "proactively engage" with the commission on this matter as it had done in the past.

"We remain of the view that there is no basis to these allegations. I hope that our employees, customers and suppliers will bear with us as we resolve the issue with the commission," he said.