Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has in recent years intervened ever more actively in some of the largest merger transactions that have come to the competition authorities as well as in high-profile cartel cases to try to use the levers of competition policy to get commitments from merging companies on a range of public-interest measures. Now, he has ambitions for the competition authorities to play even more of a role in (radically) transforming the economy and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has given his support. Last week’s annual competition law conference provided a platform for the pair to spell out a new policy thrust. They want the competition authorities to tackle the structure of the economy, with its high levels of concentration and low levels of black control and ownership. Instead of only focusing on anticompetitive conduct, Patel and Ramaphosa want the authorities to also focus on market structures that may be anticompetitive. Those would be sectors where ...

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