Job losses took centre stage at the Competition Tribunal hearing on the proposed merger of Lonmin and Sibanye-Stillwater, which started on Monday. Lonmin has been struggling to survive in an environment of low platinum prices and rising costs. Its proposed acquisition by Sibanye-Stillwater will bring it back from the brink, but the future sustainability of the company means more than 13,300 jobs will have to be cut. In September, the commission recommended that the merger be approved with conditions. However, the tribunal has heard that a key dispute between the commission and the merging parties is the number of job losses that may result from the merger. Advocate Alfred Cockrell, who represented the merging companies, pointed out that neither the Competition Commission nor any of the intervening parties had raised competition issues in relation to the merger. “This is a public interest case, not a competition case,” Cockrell told the tribunal. About 13,344 jobs will be lost but th...

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