* Company could be fined 10 pct of turnover and exports
* Authority says ArcelorMittal fixed prices, divided market
* Shares down 1.97 percent
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 1 (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal South Africa ACLJ.J, a unit of the world's top steel maker, could be fined 10 percent of its annual revenue and exports for fixing prices with other companies, the competition authority said on Tuesday.
Following the announcement, shares in the company extended losses, falling 2.6 percent to 113.78 rand a share, compared with a 0.34 percent weaker JSE Top-40 blue-chip index .JTOPI.
The authority recommended to the competition tribunal that the steel maker and two other steel producers be fined 10 percent each of their annual turnover and exports for price fixing and market division.
A fourth company applied for corporate leniency.
ArcelorMittal South Africa posted a revenue of 39.91 billion rand ($5.15 billion) for 2008.
“The Commission found that the four producers exchanged information by using their membership in the South African Iron and Steel Institute (SAISI) to facilitate cartel activity, which involved price fixing, the fixing of trading conditions and market division,” the authority said in a statement.
The authority launched the investigation after concerns that the mills were charging local steel customers at around import parity price levels since 2002, even though South Africa is a net exporter of steel.
The other steel producers include unlisted Cape Gate (Pty) Ltd. and Cape Town Iron Steel Works (Pty) Ltd. A fourth company, Scaw South Africa (Pty) Ltd, applied for corporate leniency.
ArcelorMittal is involved in another unresolved competition case, where the company has been fined 691.8 million rand for charging excessively high prices for flat steel products.
The company won its appeal against the record fine, but the case is still unresolved after it was sent back to a tribunal for further examination. (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.