FAQ

JURISDICTION OF THE COMPETITION COMMISSION

  • The Competition Commission (“the Commission”) has jurisdiction over all economic activity within or having an effect within the Republic.
  • In so far as the Competition Act, 89 of 1998 (“the Act”) applies to an industry, or sector of an industry, that is subject to the jurisdiction of another regulatory authority in respect of conduct regulated in terms of Chapter 2 or 3, the Act will be construed as establishing concurrent jurisdiction in respect of that conduct.

Question

What kind of matters does the Commission investigate?

Answer

The Commission has the mandate to investigate all competition concerns as envisaged by the Act. These include restrictive practices, abuse of dominance, exemptions from the application of the Act and mergers and acquisitions.

REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION REGARDING THE APPROPRIATE FORUM FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF A PRIZE AWARDING OR PROMOTIONAL COMPETITIONS SUSPECTED TO BE FLAWED

Questions

  • Does the Commission investigate companies that offer fraudulent prize awarding awarding competitions?
  • Where does one establish or verify the validity of a prize awarding competition?
  • Where can one lay legal claims against companies promoting prize awarding competitions?

Answer

Price awarding or promotional competitions falls outside of the jurisdiction of the Commission. The possible forum to direct price awarding or promotional competition complaints is with the National Lottery Board. One of the functions of the National Lottery Board is to regulate promotional competitions and to address any complaints that may arise in respect of them. You may contact the National Lottery Board by writing to PO Box 1556, Brooklyn Square, 0075 Pretoria or by telephone on 08600 65383.

INSURANCE RELATED COMPLAINTS

Questions

  • Where does a person report unauthorised deduction of money by an insurance company?
  • Does the Commission assist an individual with a claim against an insurance company for payment on an insurance claim?

Answer

The Office of the Consumer Protector (“OCP”) is mandated to provide the public with advice and direction as to your rights as a consumer in this regard. You can contact the Customer contact centre at 0861 843 384. If the complaint needs to be followed-up, you can fax, email, post or approach the office directly. The appropriate contact details in this regard can be obtained on www.thedti.gov.za Insurance enquiries may also be directed to the Ombudsman for insurance. The Ombudsman for short-term insurance can be contacted by telephone on (011) 726 8900 or by facsimile at (011) 726 5501. The Ombudsman for long-term insurance can be contacted by telephone on (021) 657 5000 or by fax at (021) 674 0951.

LEGAL ASSISTANCE

Questions

  • Does the Commission assist individuals with the interpretation of the legality of contracts they enter into with third parties?
  • Does the Commission assist individuals who wish to institute legal action against third parties?
  • Does the Commission investigate unlawful termination of contracts?

Answer

The Commission does not assist with any of the above matters, save to the extent that they implicate the provisions of the Competition Act. Any matters giving rise to a party’s rights or obligations under a contract should be directed to an attorney for legal advice. You may approach the Law Society of South Africa for advice on the appropriate forum for the resolution of your dispute. They can be contacted on (012) 366 8800 or by fax on (012) 362 0969. Subject to certain qualifications, the Legal Aid Board may also be of assistance. The head office number is (011) 877 2000. Alternatively, you can dial the following single access number: 08610 LEGAL (53425).

TENDER COMPLAINTS

Questions

  • Does the Commission investigate the awarding of fraudulent tenders?
  • Does the Commission investigate bias or fraud in awarding tenders to certain companies?

Answers

  • The Commission does not investigate the fraudulent or biased awarding of tenders, nor the fraudulent submission of false or misleading information in tender documents. Such complaints should be directed to the attention of the South African Police Service and in the case of State tenders also to National Treasury at (012) 315 5645/5819. They may also be reported to the office of the President on a toll free number: 17737
  • The Commission will investigate collusive tendering amongst firms who submit tenders and this includes and is not limited to agreements amongst competing tenderors to rotate bids, fix prices and engage in cover pricing. .

INDUSTRY REGULATED COMPLAINTS

Questions

  • Does the Commission have the authority to investigate airport taxes?
  • Does the Commission investigate employer and employee related complaints?
  • Does the Commission investigate contracts offered by cellphone operators?
  • Does the Commission investigate bank practises e.g. refusal to grant loans, the interest rate charged by the banks and fraudulent practises within the banks?

Answer

In so far as of the Competition Act, 89 of 1998 (“the Act”) applies to an industry, or sector of an industry, that is subject to the jurisdiction of another regulatory authority in respect of conduct regulated in terms of Chapter 2 or 3, the Act will be construed as establishing concurrent jurisdiction in respect of that conduct.

CREDIT REGULATION

Question

I have finished repaying my debt / I was wrongfully accused of indebtedness. Can the Commission assist me to clear my Credit Bureaux listing?

Answer

The National Credit Regulator is possibly the appropriate forum to direct your complaint. It is mandated to deal with credit bureaux listing queries and related consumer rights. You may contact the National Credit Regulator on 0860 627 627 or by email at info@ncr.org.za or complaints@ncr.org.za.

Question

Can the Commission assist me to rescind a judgement that was erroneously granted against me in terms of which a garnishee order was placed on my salary ?

Answer

If you suspect that a court judgment was erroneously granted against you, the possible avenue to lodge a complaint against such judgment is with the clerk of the court in which the judgment was granted, and enquire about the reasons for granting of the order and about the possibility and procedure for its rescission if it is in fact erroneous.

MEDICAL AID SCHEMES

Question

Medical aid schemes have entered into exclusive distribution agreements in terms of which the medical aid schemes appoint a network of chain group pharmacies as disignated service providers (“PSPs”) that will dispense medication to the members of the medical aid schemes. Is this anticompetitive?

Answer

The Commission has previously found that the appointment of DSPs, and notwithstanding that in that case the agreements did not result in the substantial prevention or lessening of competition, resulted in pro-competitive efficiencies such as, inter alia, cost saving and more efficient provision of goods and services. This was found to have a positive effect on the market considering the fact that cost efficiency remains a key challenge in the South African private health care market.

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