Quarterly Review

New energy in the region’s fuel market: Puma Energy - Brent Oil merger

New energy in the region’s fuel market: Puma Energy - Brent Oil merger

Maria Nkhonjera

The recent merger in South Africa between Puma Energy and Brent Oil, recently approved by the competition authorities, may change the competitive landscape in regional and South African markets for fuel retail, leveraging Puma’s long-established presence throughout the rest of the region. This article considers the implications of the merger.

 

Editor's Note: Quarterly Review August 2015

Editor's Note: Quarterly Review August 2015

Thando Vilakazi

This quarter has been a busy one for CCRED. In June 2015, CCRED had the opportunity to present our recent research on coordination in regional fertilizer markets at the World Bank and OECD conference on Promoting Effective Competition Policies for Shared Prosperity and Inclusive Growth, in Washington. Several CCRED papers on regional development were presented at the TIPS Annual Forum on Regional Industrialisation and Regional Integration. And, in July, we had the honour of hosting Prof Eleanor Fox from New York University who presented on competition policy and its potential contribution towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. 

Global foreign exchange price fixing

Global foreign exchange price fixing

Shingie Chisoro Dube

In May 2015, the Competition Commission of South Africa (CCSA) lodged an investigation into cartel conduct by major banks in the foreign currency exchange market affecting the South African rand. The CCSA alleges that certain banks have colluded to fix prices in currency pairs involving the rand. The banks alleged to be involved in the collusive arrangement, called the “ZAR domination” include BNP Paribus, BNP Paribus South Africa, CitiGroup Inc, Citigroup Global Markets (Pty) Ltd, Barclays Bank Plc, Barclays Africa Group Ltd, JP Morgan Chase & Co, JP Morgan South Africa, Investec Ltd, Standard New York Securities Inc and Standard Chartered Bank. The above traders in foreign currencies are under investigation for directly or indirectly fixing prices on bids, offers and bid-offer spreads with regard to spot, futures and forwards currency trades.

Is infrastructure sharing a game changer in Zimbabwean telecoms?

Is infrastructure sharing a game changer in Zimbabwean telecoms?

Nicholas Nhundu

Econet Wireless is the dominant player in the Zimbabwean mobile telecoms industry with a total of 6.5 million active subscribers in 2014 while NetOne and Telecel held 3.2 million and 2.1 million, respectively.1 In order to promote investment and enhance competition, the Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) is in the process of finalizing infrastructure sharing rules for broadband and other ICT infrastructure which are expected to be implemented by August 2015.

Then and now: The Telkom and Business Connexion Merger

Then and now: The Telkom and Business Connexion Merger

Lauralyn Kaziboni

In 2007, the Competition Tribunal of South Africa (“Tribunal”) prohibited the merger between Telkom SOC SA Limited (“Telkom”) and Business Connexion (“BCX”), following a recommendation for prohibition from the Competition Commission of South Africa (“Commission”). At this time, Telkom was the de facto monopoly provider of fixed line infrastructure and services and BCX was an ICT provider.

Editors Note: Quarterly Review May 2015

Editors Note: Quarterly Review May 2015

Thando Vilakazi

In March, CCRED partnered with the Zimbabwe Competition and Tariff Commission to host the inaugural Annual Competition and Economic Regulation (ACER) week at the magnificent Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The 5-day programme included a series of applied core and advanced short learning programmes on competition and regulation, and a two-day conference with contributors and participants from regulators, competition authorities, the legal profession and economists from several countries. 

Cartel settlements, leniency and penalties in African jurisdictions

Cartel settlements, leniency and penalties in African jurisdictions

Thando Vilakazi

Representatives of competition authorities from various African countries frankly discussed cartel penalties, settlement and leniency programmes at the CCRED Annual Competition and Economic Regulation Week in March 2015 in Zimbabwe. In this discussion, authorities highlighted the challenges of enforcement actions involving complex collusive conduct, the need for deterrent penalties, the lack of local case precedent developed through rigorous contested hearings, and the resource constraints which hamper enforcement actions and deterrence in particular.

Muted battle for the region’s skies: competition in the airline industry

Muted battle for the region’s skies: competition in the airline industry

Anthea Paelo

The deregulation of the South African airline industry in 1991 paved the way for the entry of a number of low cost carriers (LCCs). However, of the eleven airlines to enter the industry between 1991 and 2012, only one is still in operation. Other privately owned airlines such as Nationwide, Velvet Sky and 1time operating from 1995 to 2008, 2011 to 2012 and 2004 to 2012, respectively, have exited even after remaining in the market for significant periods.

Reflections on institutional design in African regulatory agencies

Reflections on institutional design in African regulatory agencies

Jonathan Klaaren

A panel at the recent ACER Week Conference in Victoria Falls discussed and give views on a question that is often neglected in discussions of competition law and policy: institutional design. The speakers came from a number of competition authorities and economic regulators from the Southern African region and played prominent – sometimes preeminent – roles in the operation of these bodies.