A key competition law development in South Africa in 2020: In South Africa, the legislature finally brought into effect its Competition Amendment Act, which has been the product of a hotly-contested debate over which direction antitrust law should take in the Republic. In a clear departure from traditional competition-law principles based on antitrust economics and a consumer-protection focus, the Act introduces a novel “public-interest” standard, which seeks to promote and protect “small and medium businesses and businesses owned by previously disadvantaged persons” from certain conduct undertaken by dominant entities. The protectionist bent of this new law may have number of unintended (and potentially harmful to consumers) consequences. (A close second place to the importance of the Amendment Act would be the two contested price-gouging cases adjudicated under the excessive-pricing prohibition).
A place to visit in South Africa after the pandemic: A magnificent (yet introspective) place to visit is the so-called “Capture Site”, in the middle of the serpentine roads amongst the Drakensberg Mountains and only a few hours away from Johannesburg. It is the location where Nelson Mandela – disguised as a limousine chauffeur at the time – was arrested by the apartheid government. The location at the hairpin bend of the road is marked today by an outdoor memorial beautifully crafted in metal spikes, which require the observers to position themselves in one specific place to see the forest of steel rods turn into a gigantic portrait of Madiba himself. A worthy trip to an historic site, with glorious mountain views (and plenty of space to be socially-distanced) to boot!
A co-founding partner of Primerio Ltd., Andreas Stargard is legal, strategic, and business advisor to companies and individuals across the globe. His focus areas are antitrust & competition advice, white-collar counseling, contract litigation & negotiation, and resolution of global business disputes, including cartel work, corruption allegations and internal investigations, intellectual property & distribution issues.