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South Africa: Clashing interpretations of Tribunal’s powers

 |  January 28, 2013

According to reports, South Africa’s Competition Appeal Court prefers a “narrow” interpretation of the Competition Tribunal’s powers. The issue at hand concerns the Competition Act and its lack of clarity, as it does not specify exact powers and their limits attributed to the Tribunal. Analysts believe that the Competition Appeal Court’s recent decision – the Loungefoam decision – exemplifies a “narrower interpretation” of the Tribunal’s powers, arguing that the Tribunal does not have the power to decide on complaints that are not referred directly to it. The Competition Commission’s annual report for 2011 and 2012 highlighted this issue, quoting commissioner Shan Ramburuth as saying that there are “different visions” for the role and scope of the nation’s competition law.

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