Short-term sights in favour of long-term gains: Patel’s industrial policies risk effective competition in South Africa

By Michael Currie Discarding any objectivity and international best practice, the Minister of Economic Development, Mr. Ebrahim Patel, has once again expressed his desire to use the South African Competition Commission (“SACC”) as an agency to actively promote the government’s industrial policies. Speaking at a media briefing, Patel told journalists that the focus of the […]

Patel commends his competition team

Minister finds praise for competition agencies, having increased fines “1000%” The official South African news agency reports that Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has lauded the country’s competition authorities as “remarkably effective over the past 15 years.” “The competition authorities have done solid investigations as they have stepped up actions against cartels and promoted public […]

Patel not mincing words, diluting competition-law factors in mergers

Economic Development Minister of South Africa, Ebrahim Patel, recently stated that the Competition Commission (“Commission”), South Africa’s key competition authority, will be asked to focus on jobs, industrialisation and small business development in lieu of ‘pure’ antitrust-law issues. Patel stated that government would require the Industrial Development Corporation to focus on supporting black industrialists, and […]

SA Competition Act officially amended – serious consequences for businesses

South Africa has amended its antitrust laws, first introduced to the country in 1998 via its Competition Act.  Parliament ratified the amendments (which still have to be rubber-stamped by the National Council of Provinces, a mere formality) yesterday over the serious objections of the opposition parties.  The new law will give significant interventionist powers to the […]

October Antitrust Conference Shines Spotlight on Africa

New York Concurrences conference: Focus on emerging economies, “coping with nationalism and building inclusive growth” AAT invites its readers to sign up for what promises to be a timely and topical conference in NYC this October 26, 2018, at NYU Law School.  Program below, sign-up with Eventbrite here.  The event features the SACC’s Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele […]

Merger Control: Public Interest & SINOPEC/Chevron

When the Stick is Greater than the Carrot While China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), and global commodities trader and miner Glencore are the front runners in a bid to buy Chevron’s South African Business (Chevron SA), it appears that Sinopec has managed to edge ahead after the Chinese firm has agreed to a number […]

The New South African Competition Amendment Bill – What it Means for Business

By Michael-James Currie Background On 1 December 2017, the Minister of Economic Development (under whose auspices the South African competition authorities fall), Ebrahim Patel, published draft amendments to the South African Competition Act [PDF], 89 of 1998 (Act) for public comment. The proposed amendments (Amendments) to the Act, which principally aim to address concentration in […]

South African Annual Competition Conference 2017: Law versus Policy – A “watch this space” moment

During the final week of August 2017, a number of prominent antitrust practitioners, economists, academics and politicians gathered in Johannesburg for the 11th Annual Competition Law, Economics & Policy Conference (Conference). The Conference attracted a variety of presenters, both local and international, to grapple and stimulate debate around a number of highly topical issues including […]

South African Market Inquiries: What Lies Ahead and is it Justified?

By Michael-James Currie The South African Competition Commission (SACC) recently announced that it will be conducting market inquiries into both the Public Passenger Transport sector (Transport Inquiry) as well as investigate the high costs of Data (Data Inquiry). These inquiries are in addition to the SACC’s market inquiries into the private healthcare sector and grocery […]

The African WRAP – JUNE 2017 edition

The first half of 2017 has been an exciting one from a competition law perspective for a number of African countries. As certain agencies have taken a more robust approach to enforcement while others have been actively pursuing or developing their own domestic competition law legislation. Further, there is an increasingly prevalent interplay between domestic […]