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Competition Authority investigate KBL

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Competition Authority investigate KBL
CAUSE OF THE CONTROVERSY: Spectators during last year's St Louis festival

St Louis Summer Fest cause of the controversy

In a case that has just been registered, local brewing company Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) may soon find themselves in trouble after local promoters lodged a complaint against them with the Competition Authority.

This was partly confirmed by the Competition Authority Director of Communications and Advocacy, Gideon Nkala.

The Director revealed his agency, which was established in 2009 to ‘promote and maintain fair competition in the economy’, have received a complaint and are currently investigating a local company accused of unfair practice.

“I cannot go into detail because the matter is under investigation and is a fairly fresh matter. But I can confirm that we do have such a case where a number of promoters have lodged a complaint against one of the big companies,” he said.

Asked if the matter involved KBL he replied, “Because we are yet to conclude investigations, I cannot reveal the name of the company at the moment.”

However, sources close to the case have exclusively leaked to Voice Entertainment that the report states local promoters feel KBL are practicing ‘unfair competition’ by hosting its annual St Louis Summer Fest festival.

Founded in 2012, the festival, which was held at a filled-to-capacity Duma FM grounds and featured Nigerian artist Davido, was the most attended event in Botswana last year.

For entry to the show, patrons simply had to buy a case of St Louis to get two tickets. The case (24 beer cans) costs about P240.

“Their marketing strategy is simple really. They wanted to push their volumes. But in the same breath they are basically giving away tickets for free, something which local promoters see as unfair because on top of the fact that they at times turn to the same company for sponsorship, they charge for entrance fee,” said the source.

Voice Entertainment has also been informed that should KBL be found guilty, this year’s festival might not happen unless the brewery giants are able to come up with another strategy.

With SAB Miller selling its shares to AB InBev, KBL’s new owners come with stricter measures and a music festival is not expected to be one of their priorities.

Efforts to get a comment from KBL spokesperson Masego Madisanyana were futile at time of going to press.