A key competition law development in Nigeria in 2020: There were very few competition enforcement activities in Nigeria in 2020 as the pandemic put almost every form of activity on hold. The few notable competition events are that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) opened an investigation into the pay TV market in Nigeria for among other things to determine whether any pay TV provider has entered into an anti-competitive agreement and/or exercises market power in an abusive manner. At the time of writing this, the investigation is ongoing. Although not a competition but consumer issue, the FCCPC, after an initial investigation, brought a claim of price-gouging against several supermarkets and pharmacies for hiking the price of key hygiene products such as facemasks and hand sanitizers during the outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria. The case is still ongoing at the court.
In the telecommunications sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) imposed accounting separation on four MNOs, one tower company and one submarine cable operator to inter alia, ensure that their charges for telecommunication services are cost based, transparent and non-discriminatory and prevent any undue discrimination or practices that substantially lessens competition such as cross-subsidization, margin squeezes, etc. The accounting separation commenced from 15 July 2020 and will remain valid until reviewed by the NCC.
A place to visit in Nigeria after the pandemic: If you are an avid hiker like I am and travelling to Nigeria for the first time, I encourage you to hike the Ado Awaye Mountains and Suspended Lakes trail in Ibadan city, Oyo State, South West of Nigeria. You wouldn’t regret it, if you like company, you may contact me and we will constitute the hike party.
Chukwuyere Ebere Izuogu is a Solicitor at Streamsowers & Köhn and a Research Fellow at the African Academic Network on Internet Policy.