Resisting price controls in S.A. health-care markets


BusinessDay Live reports on competition-law related remarks made by Anthony Norton at the annual conference of the Hospital Association of South Africa in Cape Town this week.

The newspaper quotes Mr. Norton as counseling against regulating prices in private healthcare, opposing the calls made by the South African Department of Health for such regulation:

“It seems a contradiction in terms that the competition authority, which has a mandate of pursuing free and fair competition in markets with one set of tools, would simultaneously intervene in markets through price setting. … It will be critical for the credibility of the findings that everybody who participates in the process feels that it has been fair, objective and impartial.”

The remarks come ahead of the start of the pre-announced healthcare market inquiry by the country’s antitrust watchdog, the South African Competition Commission, whose findings are expected to be published by the end of 2014.

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