A presentation was conducted with the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (“MCCI”) and its members. During the session, the Competition Commission explained its programme on temporary Guidance to businesses on proposed Covid-19-related collaboration and the proposed amendments to the Competition Commission’s Merger Guidelines.
The session was opened by the Secretary General of the MCCI, Dr Yousouf Ismael who highlighted the importance of competition law within the Mauritian economy and emphasised on the frequent pro-active collaboration between the MCCI and the Competition Commission. In his opening remarks, Mr. Deshmuk Kowlessur, the Executive Director of the Competition Commission, welcomed the interaction between the Competition Commission and private enterprises as facilitated by the MCCI. The Executive Director highlighted that the MCCI had a particularly important role during the Covid-19 lockdown in ensuring the maintenance of the supply of essential products.
He further explained that the purpose of the workshop was two-fold. Firstly, cognisant of the fact that the Covid-19 crisis has disrupted markets and certain types of collaborations may be essential for the proper functioning of markets, the Competition Commission has introduced a programme through which it will provide guidance to businesses on possible Covid-19 related collaborations. Secondly, the Competition Commission is proposing to amend its Merger Guidelines to bring more clarity on the meaning of control and the treatment of failing firms, and on which a public consultation was being conducted. These two initiatives were elaborated during the workshop.
The session on the Competition Commission’s Guidance programme on proposed Covid-19-related collaboration was facilitated by Mr. Vipin Naugah, Head Investigations, who highlighted the purpose of the programme and explained at length the conditions which enterprises have to follow to avail of the Guidance of the Competition Commission on their proposed collaborations. Mr. Sailesh Ramyead, Head Investigations, facilitated the session on the proposed amendments to the Merger Guidelines. He emphasised on the three levels of control prescribed under the Competition Act and explained that the amendments being proposed to the Merger Guidelines are to clarify those levels of control. He also highlighted the amendment being proposed to clarify the failing firm provision in the Merger Guidelines.
The session ended with interactive questions and answers. To close the session, Mr. Ismael reiterated the importance of collaboration between the two institutions and that these initiatives are welcomed and are indeed very important, especially during the current economic context. Present issues being faced by the business community and which may relate to competition were also highlighted.