Medical supplier fined R50 000 for alleged cartel conduct in provincial govt tender

Medical supplier fined R50 000 for alleged cartel conduct in provincial govt tender

A Western Cape medical equipment supplier has been fined R50 000 for allegedly colluding on a provincial health department tender, the Competition Tribunal said on Friday.

It has also been ordered to implement a competition law-compliance programme.

Intermed, which has been operating since 1987, describes itself on its website as a small business and specialist distributor of medical equipment. It denies that it contravened the Competition Act and agreed to the terms of a consent agreement with the Competition Commission without an admission of liability.

In a statement, the Tribunal said Intermed had cooperated “fully” with the Competition Commission.

According to the statement, Intermed did not win the tender in question, which was “small” at an estimated R1 million over three years.

But a probe by the Competition Commission – prompted by a complaint from the Western Cape Department of Health in 2019 – concluded that in a bid to secure the contract, Intermed and another medical supplier, who could not immediately be reached for comment outside of office hours, had assisted each other when completing their tender documents, and that this amounted to collusive tendering.

The tender related to the supply of diagnostic sets – used to examine patients’ eyes, ears, noses and throats – to hospitals and health institutions under the department’s control.

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