Competition Law

Competition Commission releases Draft Guidelines on Information Exchange between Competitors

Information is integral to making informed decisions.  When conducting business, obtaining information on the market in which one competes is important to the success of a well-functioning firm.  However, when competitors share information a line can be crossed and therefore caution is required due to the risk that it may result in anti-competitive outcomes.

In line with the approach followed by other international jurisdictions, the Competition Commission has recently released draft Guidelines for comment relating to information sharing between competitors. Read more

Act competitively: A Practical Guide to the South African Competition Act

Economic uncertainty appears to be the order of the day, especially on home soil, and the contest between businesses to gain market share remains challenging. We are all impacted in some way or another by this race for economic power and prosperity.

How then is it possible to strive towards a free market where businesses have equal opportunities, economic efficiency is achieved, consumers are protected and ultimately economic growth is stimulated?

The answer, in short, is a robust competition policy, which is underpinned at its foundation by sound economic policies. Read more

Follow-on damages – the new kid on the block for competition law non-compliance?

Until recently, the pecuniary risks of non-compliance with the Competition Act at a firm level involved a fine of up to 10% of a firm’s turnover, and for those guilty of cartel conduct, the risk of criminal sanctions that can take the form of fines or imprisonment.

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Compliance Online directors launch the much-awaited 2nd edition of “A Practical Guide to the South African Competition Act”

This prestigious event that marked the launch of the second edition of the book, A Practical Guide to the South African Competition Act, was held at the offices of the law firm, Webber Wentzel on the evening of 5 April 2017.

The keynote speaker of the evening was the honourable Judge President Dennis Davis and he held the distinguished audience captive with his presentation on “The rapid evolution of competition law in South Africa – navigating the precarious road ahead”.

The guests of honour included the editorial team and authors, Minette Smit (née Neuhoff), Marylla Govender, Martin Versfeld and Daryl Dingley. Minette and Marylla are both directors of Compliance Online and their in-depth knowledge of the competition legislation in South Africa has contributed to the success of the online training solutions they offer to private and public entities on this subject.

Read more about why this book will be appreciated by business people, legal practitioners, economists and academics alike in the article below.

“A Practical Guide to the South African Competition Act” is available from the Lexis Nexis online store.

What you need to know about the largest competition law fine in South Africa to date

Over the past 16 years there have been various competition law cases pending against Arcelor-Mittal (Mittal).

In order to bring these cases to finality, Mittal has reached a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission to pay an eye-watering and record-breaking R1.5billion fine (payable in annual installments over the next 5 years) for its involvement in cartel conduct.  The fine (together with other remedies) is significant and represents the largest fine paid by a single firm to date for anti-competitive conduct. Read more

Competition Law

SA Competition Commission Signs MoU With The Directorate-General Commission of The European Commission

Competition authorities around the world recognise the importance of cooperation in investigating and prosecuting cross-border anti-competitive practices.

The recent memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Competition Commission and the European Commission aims to enhance national, regional  and international cooperation and enforcement across various jurisdictions in relation to competition law related matters. Read more

Competition Law

Criminal sanctions: an important weapon in the fight against cartel activity

As of 1 May 2016, competition law in South Africa will be strengthened when the criminalisation of hard core cartel activity becomes a reality.  This amendment to the Competition Act makes it an offence for company directors or persons in a position of management authority to engage in or “knowingly acquiesce” in cartel conduct and brings competition law in line with other jurisdictions such as the United States and more recently, Australia and the United Kingdom. Read more

What is collusion?

Any interaction between competitors, even if completely above board, will raise suspicion from competition authorities. Authorities are concerned that competitor interaction may lead to collusion that will be to the detriment of consumers.

Collusion refers to anti-competitive agreements or understandings amongst competitors to coordinate their conduct – for example agreeing to all sell at the same price or not to sell to certain customers. Instead of competing, competitors form a so-called cartel and behave like a single powerful supplier and this is almost always to the detriment of the consumer. Read more

Limits on EU information requests in competition investigations: ECJ provides clarification

On 10 March 2016, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down judgments[i] that provide useful clarification regarding limits on information requests issued by the European Commission in antitrust investigations – in particular as regards the statement of reasons to be provided.

Five charged in U.S. with stealing secrets from GlaxoSmithKline

Five people, including two former GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) researchers, were charged with a scheme to steal trade secrets from the British drugmaker for potential sale in China, according to indictments announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia on Wednesday.