Tag archives: Competition law

Insurance Mergers, Competition Law and Approval of Acquisitions

Three 2023 decisions of the Competition Authorities provide a useful guide to their approach to insurance acquisitions in South Africa and expansion into Africa. Sanlam Emerging Markets Proprietary Limited and Another v SAN JV (RF) Proprietary Limited  [2023] ZACT 40; [2023] 3 CPLR 44 (CT) (17 August 2023) https://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACT/2023/40.html In August 2023, the Competition Tribunal … Continue reading

The hefty consequences of breaching Kenyan competition law  

This blog was co-authored by Candidate Attorney, Neshalia Nayagar. The Competition Authority of Kenya recently published the Draft Consolidated Administrative Remedies and Settlement Guidelines, which are available here . The Guidelines will be used by the Authority in determining administrative penalties and offer insight into how such penalties will be calculated.  Under Kenyan competition law … Continue reading

Six things to know about recent Competition Law enforcement in Africa

Competition Regulators across Africa are increasingly investigating and prosecuting companies involved in contraventions of competition legislation.  Compliance with the various regulatory regimes can be challenging but can be managed.  Here are six things to know about recent Competition Law enforcement in Africa: 1. Tanzania: Even less than 10% shareholding acquisition could trigger merger notification On … Continue reading

The Rise of Digital Markets in Competition Law

This blog was co-authored by Julia Sham-Guild and James Donald The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many industries to become highly reliant on digital markets. The gradual move over the past few decades and this recent sharp uptake as a result of Covid-19 has resulted in an increased need for regulators to be able to monitor … Continue reading

Competition law requirements when doing mergers in Africa: 10 Things to know

There have been a number of important developments in competition law across Africa over the past few years. An increasing number of African countries have implemented merger notification regimes. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Firms that wish to acquire businesses or expand their operations in Africa should be mindful that their transactions may require approval from regulator/s in the country/ies … Continue reading

Access to personal devices in competition claims

The High Court in England has ruled that it can order companies accused of breaking competition rules to require employees to disclose work-related communications stored on personal electronic devices. The court was dealing with a disclosure and inspection dispute in relation to a competition damages claim filed by a mobile phone retailer. Phones 4U’s insolvency … Continue reading

Competition laws require online platforms in the ‘gig economy’ to protect SME and black suppliers

The Competition Act was amended in February 2020 to introduce new rules to protect small, medium and black-owned suppliers in specific sectors (the buyer power provisions). These include the e-commerce and online services sectors (the gig economy). On 18 May 2020 the Competition Commission issued its guidelines on the buyer power provisions. These guidelines set … Continue reading

Government and banks offer debt relief for businesses affected by COVID-19

As South African businesses suffer the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown, small businesses can apply for debt relief from most of the major South African banks and several state programmes. The Department of Small Business has announced multiple interventions to assist small businesses. In addition to tax subsidies and incentives for compliant … Continue reading

Penalties for failing to notify mergers will increase in South Africa

In March 2019, the Competition Commission published its latest guidelines for the determination of administrative penalties for failure to notify mergers and implementation of mergers contrary to the Competition Act 1998. The highest penalty to date for a failure to notify is R10 million. The methodology in the Guidelines could result in much higher figures … Continue reading

Competition Amendment Bill proposes significant changes to Market Inquiries

The Competition Amendment Bill proposes giving the Competition Commission broader powers, with more substantial remedies and the threshold for initiating a market inquiry has been lowered. Key changes include the expansion of the scope of market inquiries, the provision of a notification and consultation process with sector regulators and the granting of substantial powers to … Continue reading

Competition Commission proposes tough measures on motor insurers

On 1 August 2018, the Competition Commission called for final comments on its far-reaching Code of Conduct for Competition in the Automotive Industry. The code will materially impact a range of stakeholders, including motor insurers. This consultation is the last opportunity for stakeholders to comment before they decide whether or not to sign up to … Continue reading

Competition Amendment Bill proposes tougher penalties

The Competition Amendment Bill of 2018 introduces harsher penalty provisions which increase the enforcement powers of the competition authorities for purposes of deterring anti-competitive conduct. Removal of the ‘yellow card’ Currently, the Competition Act only allows for administrative penalties to be imposed in relation to certain prohibited practices if the conduct has been repeated by … Continue reading

SA poised to follow suit in utilisation of non-competition merger control to protect State security in foreign mergers

A controversial introduction in the latest draft of the Competition Amendment Bill of 2018 is the inclusion of a section that requires the State President to constitute a standing committee of cabinet ministers and public officials to consider whether a merger, involving a foreign acquiring firm, will be adverse to national security interests in the … Continue reading

Competition Amendment Bill 2018 aims to protect market participation of non-dominant firms

The overriding intention of the Competition Amendment Bill of 2018, introduced in parliament on 12 July 2018, is to address perceived high levels of concentration and the skewed ownership profile of the South African economy. The competition authorities have consistently expressed concerns about the large number of dominant firms operating in the economy which they … Continue reading

Is anti-competitive behaviour insurable?

The August 2016 first-of-its-kind judgment against South African Airways in favour of Nationwide Airlines, for damages arising from conduct that was held to be an anti-competitive exclusionary act preventing Nationwide from entering into or expanding within the travel market, raises the interesting question whether the loss is insurable by the company and the directors. SAA … Continue reading

Cartel facilitators liable even if they are not cartel participants

A consultancy firm has been found liable and fined €348 000 under EU competition law for facilitating a cartel, although it was not a member of that cartel, and it did not operate in the heat stabiliser market in which the cartel operated. AC‑Treuhand, a consultancy based in Zurich, offers a range of services including business … Continue reading

Restraints of trade can pass competition law muster

The Competition Tribunal in RCS Cards (Pty) Limited v The Consumer Finance Business of the JD Group Limited has affirmed that a restraint of trade clause contained in a sale of business agreement will not necessarily be considered anti-competitive. However, the restraint has to be justifiable in the circumstances and concluded for a reasonable period … Continue reading

The dangers of insurance premium collusion

In early June 2015 the Competition Authority of Kenya fined the Association of Kenya Reinsurers about R91 000 for setting minimum premium rates for insurance companies tendering to provide group life cover to the National Intelligence Service employees. The fixing of minimum premium rates have been going on for years in Kenya. The reinsurers claim these … Continue reading