Twenty-five months after initiating an inquiry into websites and search engines, the Competition Commission has made far-reaching recommendations to ensure small businesses can compete in the online retail economy. But it has backtracked on many of the initial measures targeting foreign firms such as Apple, Google and

Naspers-owned Takealot, one of the biggest e-commerce platforms locally, seems to have borne the brunt of the commission’s ire, having been told to separate third-party sales from its own retail division. Splitting the businesses would remove what inquiry chair and economist James Hodge described as “a conflict of interest” presented by its hybrid platform model...

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