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South Africa Weighs Measures To Break Up Big Tech

 |  March 17, 2022

The Competition Commission told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry that several critical sectors in the South African economy were still being dominated by large firms – and that the regulator would introduce measures to address the imbalance. 

Possible measures would include tackling dominant firms by breaking down oligopolies and imposing divestiture – where a dominant company with consolidated power could be compelled to sell off a subsidiary or investments, as outlined in the Competition Amendment Act of 2020.

The Competition Commission briefed the committee on its Concentration Report on Tuesday morning. The report found continued concentration in sectors including agriculture, retail, and pharmaceuticals drove up prices and undermined job creation.

Sources for the data in the Concentration Report included information from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) database on small, medium, and large businesses as well as annual reports for listed companies.

South Africa’s watchdog has also eyed the growing digital platform economy in the country, probing the online trading market last year over concerns of high levels of concentration in many of these markets.

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