Fire sprinkler installer, Jasco Security and Fire Solutions, first to settle in alleged cartel involving ASIB

 20 September 2021

The Tribunal has confirmed, as an order, a settlement agreement concluded between the Competition Commission (“the Commission”) and Jasco Security and Fire Solutions (Pty) Ltd (“Jasco”) in relation to an alleged cartel involving Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bureau (Pty) Ltd (“ASIB”) and various installers of automatic fire sprinklers in South Africa.


There is a large number of respondents (accused) in this case including ASIB, involved in inspection services for automatic fire sprinklers, and various installers of automatic fire sprinklers.


The Commission alleged that ASIB and its listed installers agreed to allocate specific services to each other - ASIB would provide inspection services while the listed installers would provide automatic sprinkler installation services. Furthermore, that the listed installers agreed not to conduct business in areas where they are not listed by ASIB and that they should only conduct business in areas where they are listed.


Jasco is the first firm to settle the alleged service and geographic market division with the Commission.




In terms of the settlement agreement reached between the Commission and Jasco, Jasco agrees to pay a R300 000 administrative penalty (a fine).


In addition, it undertakes not to adhere to any ASIB rules that amount to cartel conduct in contravention of the Competition Act (“the Act”) i.e., market division by allocation of specific types of services and territories in contravention of section 4(1)(b)(ii) of the Act:


  • It undertakes not to agree or adhere to any ASIB rule which would preclude it from operating in any geographic region in South Africa;
  • Should Jasco wish to enter the market for the provision of inspection services, it undertakes not to restrict its right to do so by agreeing with any actual or potential competitors in that market, or with ASIB, to restrict such activities;
  • It undertakes not to restrict its sourcing of inspection services from only ASIB, provided it is commercially viable to do so;
  • It will develop, implement and monitor a competition law compliance programme; and
  • It commits itself to competitive practices and refraining from engaging in any anti-competitive conduct in contravention of the Act.


Although Jasco has settled with the Commission, it does not admit to contravening the Act.


The Commission, meanwhile, has agreed to enter into the agreement without an admission of liability by Jasco based on, among others, the following factors:


  • The Commission is incentivising Jasco to stop adhering to any ASIB rules that divide the markets, as part of its strategy to end anti-competitive conduct caused by the ASIB rules in the market for installation and inspection of automatic fire sprinklers;
  • Jasco has not been found to have contravened the Act before; and
  • Jasco is a small player in the affected market.




In July 2017, the Commission launched an investigation into ASIB and all sprinkler installers registered with it. The investigation included a search and seizure operation at the ASIB premises and 22 of its listed installers.


Following its investigation, the Commission found, among others, that:


  • on becoming a listed installer of ASIB, each of the listed installers agreed to adhere to ASIB rules which dictated that inspection services would be performed by ASIB only while installation services would be provided by the listed installers only; and
  • the ASIB rules enabled listed installers to divide the market geographically by allocating territories i.e., the area of registration or listing determined the area of operation.


The Commission concluded that this conduct between ASIB and the listed installers amounts to market division by allocation of specific types of services and territories in contravention of section 4(1)(b)(ii) of the Act.



Issued by:

Gillian de Gouveia, Communications Officer

On behalf of the Competition Tribunal of South Africa

Cell: +27 (0) 82 410 1195


Twitter: @comptrib

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