Companies

Ten companies penalised over competition offences

PZ Cussons

Employees at PZ Cussons. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • More than 10 companies have been penalised by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) in less than two years for various offences.
  • Nairobi’s Ruaraka-based PZ Cussons is the latest firm to be penalised Sh595,000 for inappropriately labelling its products.

More than 10 companies have been penalised by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) in less than two years for various offences.

Nairobi’s Ruaraka-based PZ Cussons is the latest firm to be penalised Sh595,000 for inappropriately labelling its products.

CAK in the gazette notice said it received the payment from the consumer goods firm after it opted to enter into a settlement agreement with the authority as outlined in the law.

CAK says the firm was put under investigation after the authority established that it did not provide the correct information when it was labelling its products.

The authority said the company needed to indicate the date of manufacture on the labelling of its Cussons baby perfume jelly, Imperial Leather body lotion, Japanese Spa and Venus Skin Care smoothing body lotion.

PZ Cussons owns personal care brands like Imperial Leather brands, Carex, Cussons Baby, Flamingo, Venus as well as home care range that include Morning Fresh.

“The company settled the matter by payment of Sh595,000 and the company gave a written undertaking vide the settlement agreement to in future refrain from engaging in any conduct that is in contravention of the Act,” said CAK director–general Wang’ombe Kariuki in the notice.

Several other Kenyan firms have been penalised by the authority in recent months, turning the spotlight on how firms have been duping consumers by providing fake details on labels in their products.

A random check by Business Daily showed that CAK has penalised firms like Carrefour, Moringa School, Trade Winds International Ltd, Masherbrum Contractors Ltd and Sums Decorators Ltd.

Others are juice maker Del Monte Kenya and paints manufacturer Basco Products and microlender Getbucks Kenya as well as Thika-based Capwell Industries. The competition watchdog in June fined the miller of the Soko maize flour Sh600,000 for misrepresenting the quality and ingredients of the brand to consumers.

CAK said the Thika-based Capwell Industries opted to enter into a settlement agreement after a sector-wide investigation found it was not compliant with relevant “consumer information standards and labelling requirements”.

The miller, together with Pembe Flour Mills Ltd, was found to have contravened section 55(a)(i) of the Competition Act, which touches on breaches on “standard, quality, value, grade and composition” of the product.

Del Monte Kenya was last year fined Sh776,025 for misrepresenting the quality of its products.