BIZweek n°359 10 sep 2021
BIZweek n°359 10 sep 2021
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  • Parution : n°359 de 10 sep 2021

  • Périodicité : hebdomadaire

  • Editeur : Capital Publications Ltd

  • Format : (260 x 370) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 10

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 2,2 Mo

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VENDREDI 10 SEPTEMBRE 2021 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 359 BIZ ALERT COMPETITION COMMISSION OF MAURITIUS «Bhunjun Group and Betamax Ltd are party to a reviewable monopoly situation» The Executive Director of the Competition Commission has launched an investigation into a suspected abuse of a monopoly situation by the Bhunjun Group of Companies and Betamax Ltd in the supply of transportation services, by sea, (or «freight services») of petroleum products to the State Trading Corporation. The Competition Act 2007 (the «Act») empowers the Executive Director of the Competition Commission to investigate suspected restrictive business practices. One of those restrictive business practices is an abuse of a monopoly situation, which is provided under section 46 of the Act. Such abuse may take the formof exclusionary conduct, where it hinders the state of competition, or exploitative conduct, where it harms consumers This investigation was opened subsequent to a preliminary assessment on the matter, following which the Executive Director of the Competition Commission has reasonable grounds to believethat the Bhunjun Group and Betamax Ltd are party to a reviewable monopoly situation. The investigation willassess whether the parties, in relation to the supply of freight services for petroleum products to the State Trading Corporation, have engaged in conducts which are contrary to the Act by, among others, requiring the State Trading Corporation for a guaranteed payment, at a predetermined escalating freight rate, of 100% of the freight capacity of its tanker, known as Red Eagle, regardless of the load carried for an uninterrupted period of 15 years as from year 2010 ; and requiring a right of first refusal to transport petroleum products imported by the State Trading Corporation over and above the freight capacity of Betamax Ltd’s tanker. It will be assessed whether these conditions and their execution may constitute of having the object or effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition in the supply of transportation services, by sea, of petroleum products imported into Mauritius for the period of 2010 to 2025, and constituting of an exploitation of a monopoly situation in the supply of transportation services, by sea, of petroleum products imported into Mauritius through a local tanker in Mauritius. Assess anticompetitive effects «We have become aware of the conditions of supply between the parties and the State Trading Corporation, and they seem to have a bearing on competition. As such we conducted a preliminary assessment on the matter, and I opened an investigation after I had reasonable grounds to believethat the parties’conducts may be in contravention with the monopoly provisions of the Act. Competition law is concerned not only with the legal dimensions of behaviours of enterprises but with their economic effects on markets. Enterprises who are in monopoly situation must take special care to ensure their conduct does not hinder competition and is not exploitative of the monopoly situation. The investigation is being conducted with due regards to the judgements of the Supreme Court and the Privy Council on the case involving Betamax and State Trading Corporation», says Deshmuk Kowlessur, Executive Director of the Competition Commission of Mauritius. The investigation willassess, among others, the relevant markets concerned by the conduct, and the market behaviours from two perspectives. Firstly, it willassessits object or effect on competition and whether the conducts of the parties are capable of distorting or have distorted the state of competition in the supply of freight services for petroleum products in Mauritius including whether any anticompetitive effects are ongoing. Secondly, it willassess whether the conducts amount to an exploitation of a monopoly situation to the detriment of interests of consumers. Power to remedy If at the end of the investigation, the Executive Director is of the view that the conduct(s) of the Bhunjun Group and/or Betamax Ltd amounts to a reviewable monopoly situation and has the object or effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition, or in any other way, constitutes exploitation of the monopoly situation, he may recommend the Commissioners to impose appropriate directions on the concerned enterprise(s). It will be for the Commissioners to make a determination. Section 60 of the Act provides that the Commission may impose in the case of an abuse of a monopoly situation such directions as it considers necessary, reasonable and practicable to remedy, mitigate or prevent the adverse effects on competition that the Commission has identified ; or remedy, mitigate or prevent any detrimental effects on users and consumers so far as they have resulted from, or are likely to result from, the adverse effects on, or the absence of, competition. Alternatively, the investigation may find that there has been no contravention of the Act. It should be noted that this is merely the start of the investigation and no conclusion has been reached at this stage. 3

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