South Africa releases Competition Amendment Bill
Members of the public are invited to submit written comments on the Competition Bill to the Economic Development Department within 60 calendar days of publication of the notice (ie, by 30 January 2018). Written comments can be submitted by email to [email protected]
A primary objective of the Bill is to address structural challenges that constrain the South African economy, namely high levels of concentration and the racially skewed spread of ownership. The Competition Bill seeks to address these challenges through the introduction of various means, including:
To provide a sense of the practical implications of some of the proposed amendments, merging parties will be required to disclose, in their merger filings, all common shareholders and cross-directorships with other competitors in the same or a related market(s). This is to detect and evaluate the current levels of concentration and possible coordination that may be aggravated by a proposed transaction. The Competition Bill also requires merging parties to disclose all merger activity they have undertaken in the preceding three years to facilitate a deeper analysis of “creeping concentration” (ie, the impact of incremental mergers over a short-to-medium timeframe).
Moreover, it is proposed that the commission’s findings (including remedial actions) following a market inquiry are binding, unless challenged by the parties concerned before the Competition Tribunal.
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