Competition concerns


Christina Sabatelli-Capelo

In order to extract value out of their IP, proprietors employ various commercial strategies, ranging from licensing to entering into joint ventures and collaborative arrangements, which may at times be considered to be anti-competitive.

Competition Law in South Africa has received much publicity in recent months due to the active participation and investigations of the Competition Commission and the latest findings of the Competition Tribunal. The fame of the Competition Law was further fuelled by the recently enacted Competition Amendment Act, No. 1 of 2009, which brought with it some controversial issues of constitutionality.

The Competition Commission—a statutory body empowered to investigate business practices and abuse of dominant positions—is focused on rooting out anti-competitive behaviour. The commission has, in addition to implementing industry-wide investigations, also directed some of its attention to joint ventures that are being used by businesses to disguise and promote anti-competitive behaviour.

The commission has announced its concern that joint ventures are being formed as vehicles to facilitate collusion, which constitutes the act of working together with other businesses, usually in secret and in an anti-competitive way.

competition law, joint ventures