Competition encouraged, but say no to collusion
The government is moving to establish Samoa’s Competition and Consumer Commission.
At the Tu’utu’uileloloto Hall yesterday, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour introduced the rules and regulations during a Forum held there.
The Competition and Consumer Commission is an independent body that administers and enforces the Competition and Consumer Act 2016 (the C.C.A).
It has the following functions under section 7 of the CCA.
• Advise the Minister responsible for commerce on competition, consumer protection and prices.
• Conduct research into competition, consumer protection and prices.
• Promote business compliance with the C.C.A.
• Promote skills development in the legal, economic and policy aspects of competition, consumer protection and prices oversight.
• Educate the public on the value of competition and consumer protections and
• Issue guidelines on competition, consumer protection, pricing and the administration of the CCA.
Under Parts 6 and 7 of the CCA, the Commission has the power to conduct investigations into legal breaches and take enforcement action, including Litigation.
According to the Acting C.E.O of M.C.I.L, Fepulea’i Roger Toleafoa, the establishment of the Commission is a step in the right direction.
“This new law is a big help to promote competition in markets in Samoa,” he said. “It is to establish standards of conduct for those engaged in trade in Samoa and also to protect the safety and interests of consumers.
“One of the important issues of this new law is to establish a new Commission to help guide this new regulation by making sure the role of the Commission is effective to the people of Samoa.
He went on to remind that the golden rule about competition is “always compete, never collude.”
“Your competitor is any other business selling the same types of products or services to the same potential consumers.
“If you own a supermarket, your competitors are other supermarkets, road-side sellers, fresh food markets, and similar businesses.
“If a business you deal with tries to restrict how you operate in a way that is anti-competitive, they may be breaking law.”