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Kenya’s Competition Authority Proposes Tougher Regulations on Big Tech

 |  May 30, 2024

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has proposed significant amendments to the Competition Act, aiming to curb anti-competitive behaviors by major technology companies. This move marks a decisive step by the Kenyan government to protect local businesses from the overwhelming dominance of global tech giants such as Google, Amazon, X, and Apple.

The proposed changes target various anti-competitive practices, including mergers and acquisitions designed to eliminate competition, restrictions on third-party services on major platforms, and limiting consumer choices by linking main products with complementary ones. If enacted, these amendments will empower the CAK to enforce fair market practices more robustly and safeguard consumer rights within Kenya’s burgeoning digital and tech sectors.

“The Competition Act (hereinafter referred to as the ‘principal Act’) is amended in section 2 by inserting ‘digital activities,’ which means the provision of a service by means of the internet, or provision of digital content, for the benefit of business consumers or other consumers (whether paid for or otherwise and whether or not such activity is multisided),” the amendment specifies.

This legislative push aligns Kenya with ongoing global efforts to regulate Big Tech, echoing similar antitrust investigations in the United States and Europe. By extending its regulatory reach to digital activities, the CAK aims to level the playing field for local companies and foster a more competitive market environment.

Stakeholders have been invited to submit their views on the draft legislation by June 11, 2024. The CAK’s proactive stance reflects a growing recognition of the need for regulatory frameworks that can keep pace with rapid technological advancements and the complexities of digital markets.

Source: Tech Cabal