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Sweeping Inquiry Sheds Light on Online Intermediation Platforms: Competition, Opportunity, and the Road Ahead

 |  August 18, 2023

By: Tyla Lee Coertzen and Nicola Taljaard (African Antitrust)

On July 31, 2023, the South African Competition Commission (SACC) issued its conclusive Final Report and Decision regarding the Online Intermediation Platforms Market Inquiry (OIPMI). Commencing on May 19, 2021, the OIPMI embarked on a comprehensive journey involving data requests, public hearings, expert analyses, and extensive interactions with stakeholders. The SACC’s comprehensive findings and well-considered recommendations mark the culmination of this process.

The authority of the SACC to conduct market inquiries is rooted in section 43B(1)(a) of the Competition Act 89 of 1998 (as amended). This provision empowers the SACC to initiate inquiries when there exists a reasonable basis to suspect that certain market dynamics might hinder, distort, or limit competition within a specific market. Furthermore, this authority extends to promoting the objectives and purposes of the Act, including fostering the involvement of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as historically disadvantaged individuals (HDPs)…