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South African Bread Price-Fixing

Related Lawyers: Michael D. Hausfeld, Reena A. Gambhir

Hausfeld is assisting Charles Abrahams of Abrahams Kiewitz in Capetown, South Africa in groundbreaking litigation on behalf of bread consumers in South Africa’s Western Cape province. 

The case alleged 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 were 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 allowed 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 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.  

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