Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The Competition Commission slammed a restraint of trade agreement that Imperial demanded from the owner-managers of a Free State bus operator it proposes to acquire as "unreasonable, unjustifiable and anti-competitive".

Since Imperial is not active in the business of bus operation and intended to leave the target company, Interstate, operating as a separate entity, the commission said on Thursday it had no other objections to the deal.

But it approved the proposed acquisition on condition that Imperial cuts the restraint of trade period Interstate’s management had to sign from five years to three, and the area covered by the agreement from the whole of SA down to the Free State.

The commission said the restraint of trade agreement would have created high barriers to entry in other markets in which Imperial is active that are not related to Interstate.

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