The Competition Commission has approved, with conditions, the "mergers" — in the form of "economic alliances" — of Raubex, Stefanutti Stocks and Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO) and their respective groups of "emerging contractors". The parties are now busy refining what one of these conditions means in terms of industry competitiveness. The three JSE-listed companies have told competition authorities that in order to achieve the objectives of their mergers, it is essential for them to have "material influence" over the direction, operation and competitiveness of the businesses of the emerging contractors. But they say that the specific condition that prevents the flow of "competitively sensitive information" from one alliance to another "is restrictive and prejudicial" to their alliances. The general conditions of their mergers relate to the "interaction" of the merging parties in relation to the R1.5bn "trust fund" provided for by seven big construction companies over 12 years.Muc...

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