The Commission is conducting a market inquiry in the private healthcare sector in terms of Chapter 4A of the Competition Act, 89 of 1998 (as amended) (the Act) and in keeping with the purpose and functions of the Commission set out in section 2 and section 21 of the Act respectively.
Section 21 of the Act calls on the Commission to, inter alia, “implement measures to increase market transparency” and “advise, and receive advice from, any regulatory authority”. In order to fulfil these functions, and in line with the purpose of the Act, Chapter 4A of the Act enables the Commission to conduct market inquiries in respect of the “general state of competition in a market for particular goods and services, without necessarily referring to the conduct or activities of any particular name firm”.
A market inquiry is thus a general investigation into the state, nature and form of competition in a market, rather than a narrow investigation of a specific conduct by any particular firm. The Commission has initiated an inquiry into the private healthcare sector because it has reason to believe that there are features of the sector that prevent, distort or restrict competition.
The Commission further believes that conducting this inquiry will assist in understanding how it may promote competition in the healthcare sector, in furtherance of the purpose of the Act.