1 September 2009 by and

Competition Alert

On 28 August 2009 the Competition Amendment Act, No 1 of 2009, was published in Government Gazette No 32533 as signed into law by the President. Although the Competition Amendment Act is now signed into law, it will only come into operation on a date to be proclaimed by the President. It is not clear when the operative date will be proclaimed or what the date itself will be.

The Competition Amendment Act provides for, amongst other matters, the personal criminal prosecution of directors and managers who cause firms to be involved in illegal price fixing, market division and collusive tendering (or who knowingly allow such conduct to take place). In addition the Competition Amendment Act now makes indirect reference to the Corporate Leniency Policy (by referring to firms and individuals “deserving of leniency” which contemplates whistle-blowers). The Competition Commission now also has the power to conduct market enquiries, and investigate so-called complex monopoly conduct which is “conscious parallel conduct” between competitors (coordinated conduct, absent an agreement to collude) that tends
to substantially lessen or prevent competition.

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