The Competition Commission in South Africa recently published a Practice Note on the Promotion of Competition and Inclusion in Supplier Panels of Banks and Insurers. This Note is intended to guide Banks and Insurers on the best practices and pro-competitive principles that can be applied when appointing suppliers to Supplier Panels (including conveyancing and automotive panels). Banks and Insurers should take measures to comply with this guidance, as non-compliance could attract enforcement action.
It has been noted that the price volatility of essential food items in South Africa is under the watchful eye of the competition authority in South Africa. This is after legal interventions intended to guard against price increases during the pandemic were repealed when the National State of Disaster ended in early April 2022. At the same time, businesses that operate in the Consumer Goods and Retail sector are dealing with ongoing supply chain disruption.
The termination of the National State of Disaster in South Africa means that regulations and directions that were made to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in terms of the Disaster Management Act are effectively repealed. Part of the interventions made by the government were Competition Law block exemptions issued by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition in South Africa to aid government programs designed to fight COVID-19. As such, any agreements or concerted practices between parties in the affected industries, which may contravene the Competition Act, will no longer be exempted from the Act’s provisions.
The South African Competition Commission recently released its Economic Concentration Report, which highlights patterns of concentration and participation in the South African economy. The Report includes details on the Commission’s power to launch market inquiries into highly concentrated industries, as well as its increased authority to impose structural remedies on businesses in these sectors.
A recent case before the South Africa Competition Tribunal looked at the excessive pricing of breast cancer treatment. This led to the question as to whether a violation of competition law should automatically be considered a violation of the Constitution.
Draft guidelines to the COMESA Competition Regulations, 2004 were published for public comment in October 2021. The guidelines are intended to provide clarity, transparency and certainty on the policies and procedures of the COMESA Competition Commission. Based on international best practice, they address the determination of fines and administrative penalties, as well as settlement and hearing procedures.
In recently published analysis Competition in the Digital Economy, Baker McKenzie competition law experts identified common themes related to merger control, abuse of dominance and cartel conduct in Africa, that point to the nexus between competition regulation and the digital economy.
Numerous competition authorities in Africa are aware of the effects of unjustified price hikes and excessive pricing on already vulnerable economies. They have responded by establishing specialised investigation teams, refocusing existing resources to COVID-19 specific complaints and introducing new competition regulations – as is the case in South Africa. African…
In brief COVID-19 has brought about unfavorable consequences for companies and many of them will be facing financial hardships in the aftermath of the pandemic. One of the most effective ways in which companies may address financial di756876 stress is through mergers. Lerisha Naidu, Sphesihle Nxumalo, and Thando Thabethe, from…
The substantial increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa has led to innumerable complaints of anti-competitive conduct from customers and consumers across the continent, who have expressed concerns over sudden price hikes of healthcare and hygiene products as well as identified essential products. This has prompted rapid responses from African…