Draft guidelines published by Competition Commission

Guidelines on the assessment of public interest provisions in merger regulation under the Competition Act 89 of 1998 published 22 December 2015.

“these guidelines seek to provide guidance on the Commission’s approach to analysing mergers by indicating the approach that the Commission is likely to follow and the types of information that the Commission may require when evaluating public interest grounds in terms of section 12A(3) of the Competition Act” http://www.gpwonline.co.za/Gazettes/Gazettes/39560_22-12_EconomicDev.pdf

Section 12A(3) lists public interest factors that must be considered by the Commission.  The Commission may prohibit a merger if it is established that the merger raises substantial negative public interest effects, alternatively it may impose conditions to counter the effect arising from the merger.

Such consideration factors include whether the merger will have an effect on a particular industrial sector or region; employment; the ability of small businesses to become competitive, specifically those controlled or owned by historically disadvantaged persons; and the ability of national industries to compete in international markets.

Deadline for submission of comments is 29 January 2016.

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