Competition law is evolving, on a policy and academic level, to
further support the competition regulatory framework in South
Africa. The nature and extent of papers presented at the Sixth
Annual Competition Conference, hosted at the University of the
Witwatersrand on 6 and 7 September, indicated that interest in and
importance of competition law as a means of regulating the market
Conference participants urged the Competition Commission
(Commission) to err on the side of caution when exercising its
powers. This request was made in the light of several cartel and
prohibited practices decisions made by the Commission which have
been overturned. The cases were overturned, on appeal, by the
Supreme Court of Appeal and Competition Appeal Court which ruled
that the Commission had not followed proper procedures in its
initiation and referral of complaints to the Competition Tribunal
Shan Ramburuth, the Competition Commissioner, stated at the
conference that there needs to be intellectual honesty in respect
of the challenges brought against the Commission's decisions.
He emphasised that there should be a differentiation between
whether the procedural challenges brought are in respect of genuine
irregularities or whether they amount to mere delaying tactics by
the firms accused of contravening the Competition Act.
The conference's keynote address by the Minister of Health,
Aaron Motsoaledi, emphasised that the ultimate goal within the
healthcare sector is to ensure that all members of society are able
to access high quality services which are affordable. The Minister
made it clear that if competition (or the lack thereof) is
hampering this objective, action would need to be taken. The vast
majority of panel participants expressed that any market enquiry
undertaken in the healthcare sector would need to have well-defined
terms of reference. Some speakers noted, however, that such a
market enquiry may not alleviate the broader issues in the
Click here to read more about the recent conference hosted by
Webber Wentzel on the healthcare sector.
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Previous updates summarised the main provisions of the United Arab Emirates Federal Competition Law (Federal Law No. (4) of 2012) which came into force on 23 February 2013.
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