At the 44th meeting of the Board of Commissioners held on 12th February 2016, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission considered an investigation report on the likely effect of the acquisition of MSB Limited by FDH Financial Holdings Limited.
After thoroughly considering the report and the submissions by the parties, the Commission found that the transaction may not likely result in substantial lessening of competition in the banking and foreign exchange trading markets. This finding was based on the following factors:
The Commission's investigations also showed that the transaction may result in some job losses. Further, there were concerns that the transaction may result in the closure of some MSB branches particularly those in rural areas which are key to fostering financial inclusion in Malawi.
In light of these findings, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission resolved to approve the transaction subject to the parties complying with the following undertakings:
Upon the parties agreeing to these undertakings, the Commission will sign a Memorandum of Undertaking with the parties to ensure that they are complied with.
CHARLOTTE WEZI MALONDA
In pursuit of its mandate of protecting consumers from unfair trading practices, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission has been undertaking inspections to maize selling points in some districts.
During the inspections, the Commission visited privately owned and ADMARC warehouses as part of a monitoring exercise for the availability and accessibility of maize to consumers. Over the past two days, our inspectors have visited maize selling points and warehouses in Lilongwe, Mchinji and Dowa districts.
Through the inspections, we have noted with concern that some traders are engaged in conducts that clearly violate the Competition and Fair Trading Act and the Consumer Protection Act.
Some of the unfair trading practices that have been reported to us are as follows:
In view of these findings, the CFTC would like to warn all maize traders in the country that withholding of goods for speculative purposes is prohibited and constitute a criminal offence under Section 43(1)(g) the Competition and Fair Trading Act (CFTA) and Section 6 of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).
It is also an offence for traders to use incorrect measures or weights or any other forms of misrepresentations. Likewise, Section 43 of the CFTA prohibits traders from charging excessive prices which are exploitative to consumers.
The CFTC would, therefore, like to warn all maize traders in the country to cease and desist from engaging in the above conducts. Any trader found engaging in these practices commits an offence which attracts a fine of MK500,000.00 or an amount equivalent to the financial gains of the offence, whichever is higher, and five year imprisonment upon conviction.
CHARLOTTE WEZI MALONDA
Pursuant to Section 5 of the Competition and Fair Trading Act, it has pleased the President of the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, to appoint the following eminent Malawians as Commissioners for the Competition and Fair Trading Commission:-
As part of the ongoing public service reforms, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) wishes to inform the general public that the State President of the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika has approved reforms for the competition and consumer protection regime in Malawi.
The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC), a government agency with a mandate of regulating, monitoring, controlling and preventing acts or behaviour which are likely to adversely affect competition and consumer welfare in Malawi, will from 12th to 18th April host a delegation from the Fair Competition Commission (FCC) of Tanzania which will be on a study tour in Malawi.
Following increased consumer complaints, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission and the Ministry of Industry and Trade requested the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) to conduct laboratory tests for Aqua Pure bottled water to determine its conformity with prescribed consumer safety standards, in particular MS 699- Mandatory Malawi Standard on Bottled Water other than Mineral Water Specification.
One of the functions of the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) is to provide persons engaged in business with information regarding their rights and obligations under the Competition and Fair Trading Act and Consumer Protection Act.
In line with this, the CFTC has organised a series of Business Clinics in all the major trading districts in Malawi targeting private sector enterprises, trade associations, statutory regulatory agencies and civil society. During the Business Clinics, officials from the CFTC will sensitise stakeholders in specific sectors of the economy on their rights and obligations.