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South Africa: New powers for competition watchdog draw legal concern

 |  October 3, 2013

South Africa’s Competition Commission has been granted extended powers, but not without drawing concern and criticism from legal experts.

The regulator was granted new powers to conduct market inquiries earlier this year, though reports say the Commission will likely use those powers for the first time next month to review the healthcare market. Additionally, the regulator was extended the ability to investigate complaints following a decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

But such new powers for the competition watchdog are drawing concern from legal experts. The head of competition law at Werksmans Attorneys, Paul Coetser, was interviewed by reporters regarding the regulator’s new powers. Coester described them as “concerning,” as the Commission will now be able to independently investigate complaints without companies knowing that there is a “reliable basis” for such a probe.

While Coester said the regulator has “very wide powers” that should be taken seriously by companies, the legal expert did not agree that the Commission is now abusing its power.

Full Content: BDLive

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