Competition Amendment Bill makes its way to Parliament

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Cabinet has approved the submission of the Competition Amendment Bill 2017 (the Bill) to Parliament. On 5 July 2018, the Economic Development Department (EDD) gazetted an explanatory statement (available here) indicating that the Minister of Economic Development intends to introduce the Bill into Parliament during July 2018.

In essence, the draft Bill, inter alia, proposes substantial changes to sections of the Competition Act 89 of 1998 (the Act) dealing with prohibited practices, expands the factors that the competition authorities will consider when assessing mergers, allows the competition authorities to conduct impact studies, broadens the scope and effect of market inquiries, and introduces a number of procedural changes aimed at enhancing the administration of the Act.

The Bill introduced a significant number of contentious new provisions and extensive comments were submitted by stakeholders, following its publication on 1 December 2017. It will be interesting to see the extent to which these comments have been incorporated into the revised version and whether some of the substantial concerns raised have been addressed. The revision process has been remarkably swift thus far and at the given rate, it is likely that the amendments may become effective later this year.

The revised version of the Bill will only be available once it has been tabled. We will keep you updated on all further developments.​