Auquan's Weekly Wrap | 7th- 13th January: What you might have missed

Turkish Competition Authority investigates Nestle, GlaxoSmithKline, Pepsi and more for potential violations of competition laws. More retailers exposed for forced labour in Bangladesh.

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Turkey Anti-Competitive Pricing Probes

Photo: Bloomberg

The Turkish Competition Authority is investigating several companies including Nestle, Danone, Eti, Horizon, GlaxoSmithKline, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Red Bull, Haribo, Kent Gıda, for possible violation of competition laws in the "exchange of information sensitive to competition". The regulator's board found the findings serious and sufficient to launch a follow-up investigation into the said firms. This follows previous scrutiny for the likes of  Whatsapp and Meta over the last year.

South Africa Power Sector Woes

Photo: Dwayne Senior/ Bloomberg

South Africa's power sector is facing major challenges, with power cuts and financial troubles at state-owned utility Eskom. The company has failed to get approval to increase power tariffs by a third, and regulators have approved an 18.65% power price hike. Eskom's financial problems have been worsened by systemic corruption and a failure of maintain its power plants properly. The South African government is seeking ways to address the issue, including seeking private sector investment and increasing the use of renewable energy.

Forced Labour in Retail

Photo: Xinhua

In recent developments, major retailers such as Lidl, Zara’s owner Inditex, H&M and Next have been accused in a report by the UK-based fair trade campaign group Transform Trade of paying garment suppliers in Bangladesh during the pandemic less than the cost of production, leaving factories struggling to pay the country’s legal minimum wage. There have also been allegations of "sham" investigations into forced labour at a former Tesco supplier in Thailand. In addition, the US and Japan have launched a task force to promote human rights and international labour standards in supply chains, with a focus on China's treatment of Uyghur Muslims.

Dollar General Stores Workplace Safety Risk

Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Dollar General Stores have been facing increasing concerns over workplace safety, with multiple locations cited for violations and fines by OSHA since 2016. This trend has continued to build and picked up in November 2021, with fines ranging from $200,000 to over $2.7 million and several stores forced to close due to violations. Recent employee protests have also been reported, with workers protesting for better pay and improved safety in the workplace.

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