Amendments to the South African Competition Act

This article is part of a Chronicle. See more from this Chronicle

Heather Irvine, Sep 30, 2008

The South African Department of Trade and Industry (“DTI”) has proposed significant amendments to the South African Competition Act (“Act”). These amendments focus on the powers of the Competition Commission (“Commission”) to investigate and prosecute prohibited practices by firms operating in South Africa. The DTI was motivated by concerns expressed in Parliament about the recent spate of high profile cases involving anticompetitive conduct by companies (such as Tiger ConsumerBrands (bread) , Adcock Ingram (pharmaceuticals), and Clover (milk)) supplying basic goods to poor and vulnerable consumers. In its presentation to the Select Committee of Foreign And Economic Affairs on August 28, 2008, the DTI indicated that the purpose of the amendment bill was to strengthen the existing provisions of the Competition Act to deal with anti-competitive practices (in particular with cartels, collusive tendering, and market division), and enable the Commission to play a more proactive role in investigating markets and ensuring market transparency. The Bill proposes four major amendments to the Act.