COMPETITION AND ANTI TRUST
In 2009, the Government launched a tender supported by the World Bank for a local firm to draft the rules of procedure of the then forthcoming competition commission. Geroudis was awarded the tender, and we drafted the rules, and advised on the guidelines.
Since then, we have been at the forefront of competition defence cases from monopoly abuse and cartels, as well as participating in the first set of leniency applications and larger complex mergers.
Our approach is one of Industry focus, and we volunteer two industries every year, for the benefit of our customers.
For 2019 – Our industry focus is:
1. Grocery Retail and Competition:
A. Grocery retail has been subject to numerous competition commission activities over the past 2 years – with the case of Panagora getting fined close to USD 800,000.- and an amnesty announcement for retail price maintenance getting close to 110 applications.
B. The consistency with which the Competition Commission (CCM) has been able to find concerns in that market shows that the operators may not have been ready for competition compliance or may not have completed required due diligence.
C. We provide services for audit and compliance as well as awareness training through Geroudis Management Services Ltd tailored to the Industry.
2. Construction Industry:
A. The CCM has recently carried a market report on the construction industry and over the past 10 years, carried out several investigations on market practices in the construction materials industries.
B. Additionally, recently, the CCM has launched an investigation interpreting procurement rules for Government procurement tenders in a novel way which restricts tenders by joint ventures for construction projects.
C. We provide services for strategic planning and assist our clients to understand their market from a competition lens, knowing what can and cannot be done, and how to proceed in this new legislative environment.
We provide training, audit and compliance services to businesses and assist them in the setting up of their competition and whistleblower policies.
Geroudis has been the first to apply for Merger Guidance and has successfully completed clearance for 2 large corporate mergers in Mauritius. We have also been part of a successful clearance at COMESA level and specifically in Mauritius, for a global construction material industry cross border merger.
We assisted our clients to make the only successful opposition to a merger at the level of the Competition Commission which culminated in the first hearing before the Commission. Although Judgment was never released, the merger did not go through.
Our services include support and assistance in investigations of abuse of dominance/monopoly as well as cartel allegations.
Successful defence of cartel and abuse of dominance claims have been made in:
- The construction industry ( price fixing investigation and use of essential facility).
- The motor vehicle industry (excessive pricing investigation).
Geroudis has assisted with the main two leniency applications made in Mauritius.
We provide support to business internal investigations, dealing and liaising with the Commission, Dawn raid management and Judicial review litigation and other administrative and appeal court related actions.
We provide support and assistance to companies in Government procurement applications, review and appeals, both on a competition and a procurement legislation basis.
In 2017 – We pioneered the legal development at the Independent Review Panel authorising allocation of a contract after 30 days of the appeal if no judgment has been handed down. Although provisions existed in the law, this is the first application of those provisions made.
Representations for change
We assist clients to make representations to the Competition Commission or Government in relation to changes in legislation and suggested improvements or guidelines requirements. Geroudis assisted its clients in working towards a change of policy of Government in the liberalisation of cement prices in Mauritius, which included making representations to the Competition Commission.
Special Note (Mauritius) : COMESA / Mauritius dichotomy
Mauritius is a signatory of the COMESA treaty and part of COMESA. However, the Mauritian legal system is such that international conventions and treaties do not have force of law in Mauritius unless there is an act of Parliament which enables the convention.
The COMESA treaty is not so enabled. We therefore have the delicate and unenviable position of having 2 applicable competition laws – one enforceable at the level of the COMESA Competition Commission and COMESA Court, and the other in Mauritius and the domestic Mauritius courts.
Founder and Head of legal
Geroudis Law Firm
St Denis Street
Have questions? Our team is here to help. Call (+230) 2103838 – Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm MUT.