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Competition Commission goes after distribution of school uniform

by CompCom
31 Jan 2019 at 22:19hrs | Views
The Competition and Tariff Commission is a statutory body established under the Competition Act [Chapter 14:28)]. The functions of the Commission, as provided for in the Act, are the prevention and control of restrictive practices, the prevention and control of monopoly situations and the prohibition of unfair trade practices, amongst others. Allegations of anticompetitive practices in the supply and distribution of school uniforms, including compelling parents/guardians to buy from a specific supplier and tying and bundling when selling uniforms, among others, have come to the attention of the Commission.
Section 2 of the Competition Act [Chapter 14:28] defines a restrictive practice as any business practice or method of trading which restricts competition directly or indirectly to a material degree, in that it has or is likely to have any one or more of the following effects; i.e. enhancing or maintaining the price of any commodity or service, preventing the production or distribution of any commodity or service by the most efficient or economical means; preventing or retarding the expansion of the existing market for any commodity or service or the development of new markets therefore; and limiting the commodity or service available due to tied or conditional selling.

Against this background therefore, the Commission would like to warn any businesses or schools engaging in any of the above mentioned practices to desist from engaging in such practices with immediate effect. Section 33 of the Act empowers the Commission to investigate, as it considers necessary, to ascertain the extent to which any order has been or is being complied with, and any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of an order with which it is his duty to comply, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level nine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

Section 28 of the Competition Act empowers the Commission to investigate into any type of business agreement, arrangement, understanding or method of trading which, in the opinion of the Commission, is being or may be adopted for the purpose of or in connection with the creation or maintenance of a restrictive practice. The Commission will therefore be commissioning a market inquiry into the school uniforms sector to establish the allegations, and assess if there is any anti-competitive practice in the supply and distribution of school uniforms.

For Economic Recovery through Fair Business and Trade Practices

Source - CompCom