The South African Football Intermediaries Association (SAFIA) has responded to allegations of collusion and price-fixing made by the Competition Commission.
On Tuesday, the Competition Commission said they had referred SAFIA and 36 of its members to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution.
However, in a statement released on Wednesday, SAFIA said they will object to the referral, and vehemently denied the allegations made against them.
The statement reads as follows:
The Association (SAFIA) has now been summoned to the Competitions Tribunal and the Competitions Commission Alleges that SAFIA and its members have agreed to charge its clients a 10% Commission.
The allegations made by the Competitions Commission are vehemently denied and SAFIA will proceed to object to the referral to the Tribunal. An Answering Affidavit will be filed within the stipulated time period.
There has never been an agreement by SAFIA members to charge 10%. The documents submitted to the Competitions Commission reflect that members of SAFIA charge clients various amounts which vary from 0% to more than 10% per transaction.
In the South African context, the commercial contacts are so limited to an extent that it is practically impossible to earn a 20% commission on commercial contracts.
There has been no price fixing by SAFIA or its members, Consumers were never forced to pay a particular price without an effort of adding value. Therefore SAFIA as an organisation was never used as a vehicle for collusion.
The members of SAFIA deny that they colluded to charge a 10% commission. Transactions are based on variables and will vary from one transaction to another.
In addition, SAFIA was only set up 2 years ago but agents all over the world have been charging 10% for decades which clearly demonstrates that SAFIA was not set up in order to collude and price fix.