JEDDAH — The General Authority for Competition (GAC) has imposed fines amounting to SR53 million on four companies violating the Competition Law. Okaz/Saudi Gazette has learned that the authority would soon defame these companies following the verdicts issued against them by the Board of Grievances, and consequently, it being upheld by the Administrative Court of Appeal in Riyadh.
Two of these companies will have to pay SR20 million in fines each. These companies, which are in the field of soft drinks, were fined for their failure to announce the economic concentration process.
A fine of SR10 million was imposed on a company working in the information technology sector for using unjustifiable ways with the aim of limiting the entry of a competitor to the market. The authority also imposed SR3 million in fines against a company operating in the gas sector for its undesirable conduct that led to the exit of a firm from the market.
The Board of Grievances had issued about 12 judgments during the year 2019 and these were later upheld by the Court of Appeal after the Competition Authority filed complaints against a dozen companies that violated the law.
The total fines slapped on these establishments amounted to SR81.26 million. It was revealed in documents monitored by Okaz/Saudi Gazette that GAC publicized only violations of eight companies and the remaining four companies will be defamed later.
Meanwhile, the Committee for Review and Adjudication of Competition Law Violations had taken eight other decisions against violators of the Competition Law and its Executive Regulations during the last year.
The committee’s decisions are preliminary and they may be challenged before the Administrative Court. The total fines against these firms also amounted to SR53 million.
These include three fines against companies operating in the petroleum fuels sector, with the committee deciding to impose a fine of SR10 million on each petroleum company after detection of their violation of complicity in bids and offers, along with imposing four fines against companies operating in the pharmaceutical sector for their misconduct that led to the exclusion of a firm from the market.
The total fines against these four companies amounted to SR20 million, including SR6 million each against two companies and SR4 million each against the remaining two companies. A fine of SR3 million was imposed on a company operating in the gas sector for its illegal behavior that led to the exclusion of an enterprise from the market.
GAC is an independent authority in charge of supervising the implementation of the Competition Law that aims specifically to protect and encourage fair competition and combat monopolistic practices that affect lawful competition.
It operates through the Competition Law and its Executive Regulations to maintain the competitive environment in the business sector within a framework of justice and transparency in the local market, which, in turn, will enable firms to compete with freedom and fairness and provide consumers with the opportunity to reap the desired benefits of fair competition.
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