The role of the competition commission in South Africa revolves majorly around adjudicating complaints of bad conduct, which includes restrictive practices as well as abuses of dominance in the market. The Commission is duly backed by the law, and its several roles emanates in terms of Section 21 of the Competition Act.
What Is The Role Of The Competition Commission In South Africa
The Competition Tribunal’s mandate and roles includes:
1. Investigating Anti-competitive Conduct
One of the major roles of the competition commission in South Africa is in the area of investigating anti-competitive conduct which is not in line with Chapter 2 of the Act. We should note that anti-competitive conduct is very dangerous at different fronts, and should not be allowed to thrive.
There are several anti-competitive conducts that can be embarked upon. Some engages in price-fixing, while others abuse a dominant position which they have been able to emerge. Some engages in anti-competitive conduct through information exchange as well as other desperate vices. But irrespective of what they do, it comes with unpleasant effects on both consumers and the economy. Hence, desperate activities to remain ahead of competitors should not be encouraged, but should be rebuked by proper authorities.
Therefore, investigating and trying to prevent anti-competitive conducts as much as possible, remains one of the most integral roles the Commission has to offer as far as its function is concerned.
2. Assessing The Impact Of Mergers And Acquisitions On Competition
One of the functions of the competition commission in South Africa is in the area of assessing the impact of mergers and acquisitions on competition. It is well-known that mergers can’t but happen every now and then due to different factors. To save resources and jobs at times, the best thing to do is to conduct a merger to keep floating.
However, it is very important to identify its impacts and effects and ensure things should only go the way it ought to. This is the Commission’s job in South Africa. It won’t only assess, but also takes necessary actions.
The Competition Commission in South Africa is backed by law to authorise or prohibit a large merger in the country. Hence, its professionals examine these operations and they try to identify if or not it will be profitable to the economy. If they can get green light, they can give the go ahead. If otherwise, they can hinder the merger from going through. In the case of the latter, the parties involved may have to take steps to make the Commission see things from their own perspective, if they are indeed sure of the benefits attached to it.
Hence, the Commission adjudicate appeals its decisions on intermediate mergers and exemptions.
3. Monitoring Competition Levels And Market Transparency In The Economy
The Competition Commission In South Africa is also saddled with the responsibility of monitoring competition levels and market transparency in the South African economy. This may be carried out gently at the backstage, but it is very pivotal and helpful in the grand scheme of things.
4. Identifying Impediments To Competition
Good competition is good, and is always very helpful at several ways. The Commission usually look however towards the economy and customer satisfaction. Therefore, we should place emphasis on the fact that good competition is good for the South African economy, as well as the consumers in the market.
But when there are impediments and obstructions to good competition, then the Commission is equipped to spot and identify whatever the issues may be. Furthermore, it is their obligation to address these impediments to ensure necessary progress.
Necessity Of The Competition Commission In South Africa
The Competition Commission was established to be of great help to consumers in South Africa, and by extention, the economy. Without its operations, consumers in the country can be deprived of low prices and product choice through certain activities of commercial organisations. .
For instance, when organizations engages in anti-competitive conducts, one of the effects is that it brings an overall economic effect that would bring a slow or negative economic growth rate. The Commission won’t allow this.
The Competition Commission works to see to it that companies in South Africa won’t become lazy to compete and innovate due to issues like this.
The Competition Commission is always working to straighten issues that has to do with consumer welfare in agreement with the broader social and economic goals which have been highlighted in the Competition Act. So, the Commission’s activities can help produce things like international competitiveness, employment, efficiency and technology gains, and so on. The Competition Commission is therefore a busy one, imposing a remedy when necessary, awarding costs, granting an order for interim relief, and so on.
Additionally, the Competition Commission doesn’t have to work in isolation, since there are times it work to negotiate agreements with some other agencies that serves as regulatory authorities in the country. This is necessary because if they want to see to the enforcement of their functions across all sectors as stipulated in the Act, they have to partner with necessary agencies too. They partake in the proceedings of these regulatory authorities, and give advice where necessary (and vice versa).
The role of the Competition Commission in South Africa is wrapped around playing its unique roles (as stipulated in the Competition Act) to protect consumers and the economy. It is an independent agency in the country, although its decisions may be appealed to the Competition Tribunal and the Competition Appeal Court.
The Competition Commission has a Chief Executive Officer who is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the general administration of the Commission. Additionally, they indulge in any function assigned to the Commission in terms of the Competition Act. It also has two Acting Deputy Commissioners who must assist the Commissioner in carrying out the roles of the Commission.