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Competition Authority of Kenya flexes its muscles

Overview

In its Strategic Plan for the period from 2013/14 to 2016/17, the Competition Authority of Kenya (Authority) indicated that its focus would be on enforcement of competition and protection of consumers, which included merger control, control of unwarranted concentration of economic power, regulating restrictive trade practices and enhancing enforcement of competition and consumer welfare, among other issues.

The Authority has historically been focused on merger control, and this continues to be the case, but more recently it has become more active in the enforcement of restrictive trade practices including the abuse of dominance and unwarranted concentrations of economic power. The last couple of years or so have seen the Authority build capacity to enforce the restrictive trade practice provisions of the Competition Act, No 12 of 2010 (the Act).

With effect from October 2014, the Authority was empowered to operate a leniency programme. Under the leniency programme, any firm which voluntarily discloses the existence of any agreement or practice which is prohibited by the Act and co-operates with the Authority in its investigations may be granted leniency by the Authority and spared from all or part of any fines that would otherwise apply to it under the Act. The Authority has recently indicated that it intends to issue guidelines setting out how it will administer and apply this leniency programme.

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