The raid, according to the Commission, is in line with an ongoing investigation into collusive conduct in the auto body repairs market. The two auto body repairers in question are Precision and Sons, and Eldan Auto Body, which are based in Pretoria West, South Africa.
Vehicle Accident Assessment Centre (VAAC), which is based in Centurion, is the vehicle assessment centre under investigation.
“The commission is conducting the operation with due regard to the rights of the firms and all the affected persons. During the search the commission will seize documents and electronic data, which will be analysed together with other information gathered to determine whether a contravention of the Competition Act has taken place,” the commission said in a statement.
The Competition Commission is a body responsible for promoting and maintaining competition in South Africa.
Precision and Sons and Eldan Auto Body are approved auto body repairers to Original Equipment Manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz, Toyota and Jeep.
VAAC, on the other hand, is an assessment centre that renders vehicle assessment services Precision and Eldan customers. The commission added that they have reasonable grounds to believe that information related to the investigation is within Precision’s and Eldan’s premises.
“In terms of section 48 of the Competition Act, the Commission is authorised to enter and search premises and seize documents which have a bearing on an investigation. The Commission duly obtained warrants authorizing it to search the offices of Precision, Eldan and VAAC at the North Gauteng High Court,” the commission explained.