The Competition Tribunal will next week decide whether to confirm a consent order agreement between the competition commission and Toyota SA following a minimum resale price investigation.

The Competition Tribunal will next week decide whether to confirm a consent order agreement between the competition commission and Toyota SA following a minimum resale price investigation.

The hearing results from the commission's investigation into allegations of Toyota's maximum discount policy, which the commission said amounted to minimum resale price maintenance. This practice is in contravention of the Competition Act.

The commission found that from September 16 2002 to September 1 2003, Toyota had a policy of prescribing maximum discounts to its dealers. Toyota enforced this policy through fines on its dealers and altogether eight dealers were each levied with R25 000 fines.

Toyota claimed that this was the first time it had enforced a maximum discount policy. Following the commission's investigation, Toyota announced the withdrawal of the policy at a dealer meeting and refunded the fined dealers.

The consent order stipulated that - among other things - Toyota SA should pay a R12 million-rand penalty, not impose maximum discounts, and inform dealers and employees of the consent order and the company's obligations under the competition law.