Does competition regulation in SA still have anything to do with competition? It’s an inevitable question, after the Competition Commission recommended that a bid by a foreign private equity firm to buy Burger King SA from Grand Parade Investments be prohibited — not because it raised any competition issues but because it would reduce the BEE shareholding in the burger chain.

Leave aside concerns about the chilling effect this might have on foreign investment, or about the BEE shareholders who might well want the freedom to cash in their investment and buy something else, and just ask: isn’t it the BEE commissioner’s task to ensure companies comply with BEE legislation?..

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