News on 30 March 2015 is that ACSA has been fined almost R2 million for price fixing conduct according to Business Report. The ‘almost collusion’ between ACSA and Bombela was specifically around the fees of parking bays to Car Rental Companies. From City Press:
The commission said the price-fixing agreement was never acted on because Bombela never entered the market, but it suspected this decision was made because of the commission’s investigation.
“In terms of the arrangement, Bombela requested Acsa to provide it with rates that Acsa charges car hire companies at OR Tambo International Airport for Bombela not to undercut the rates Acsa charges car hire companies for parking bays at the airport,” reads the consent-order agreement. “On the basis of this understanding, Acsa supplied Bombela with the rates as requested.”
As I read the reports around this I began to wonder what, if any, conversations may have taken place between ACSA and Bombela regarding Gautrain travel costs to OR Tambo (it’s most lucrative route by a long shot)?
My decision to use or not use the Gautrain is dependent on how long my car will have to be parked at OR Tambo’s ridiculously expensive Parking Megalopolis? Based on whichever is cheaper determines whether I take the train or drive?
I imagine many people do this sort of calculation to determine whether to train or drive. Collusion between Bombela and ACSA means they get to control volumes of train and parking use.
Quite honestly trust for both companies has always been at a low for me. After this report, whatever trust I had, has been erased completely. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out, one day, that their anti-competitive conversations with each other stretched far wider than just rental car company parking fees?