COMESA Competition Commission has disbursed USD 1.9m to Member States

The COMESA Competition Commission has disbursed 1,933,061 to Member States being proceeds from the review of 21 business mergers assessed between January to August 2023.

In reviewing these mergers, the Commission receives statutory fees from the merging parties which are shared with affected Member States. This is in accordance to the Rules on COMESA Revenue Sharing of Merger Filing Fees to support the development of competition laws and authorities.

According to a progress report presented to the 44th COMESA Council of Ministers’ meeting, Thursday, 23 November 2023, the Commission has allocated USD 29,142,045.07 to Member States since its inception 10 years ago and disbursed USD 26,148,531.35. The Commission is however holding USD 2,993,513.73 that is due to the Member States awaiting the conclusion of their respective administrative matters.

The merger fees distributed by CCC are aimed at strengthening Member States National Competition Authorities (NCA) to enhance their capacity and competencies. The Council, however, noted that merger fees issued to Member States were not being used for the intended purpose.

In its decision, the Council urged Member States’ Governments to comply with the Rules of the Council by channelling all the merger fees resources disbursed by CCC to develop, strengthen, and capacitate the NCAs.

Further the Council urged Member States to advise their NCAs and competent authorities to adopt one position when negotiating the African Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) Competition Protocol. This is crucial in determining the merger notification and dominance thresholds under the AfCFTA Protocol on Competition Policy.

So far, the Commission has collaborated with the Competition Commission of South Africa (CCSA) under the auspices of the African Competition Forum (ACF) on a study focusing on the factors to consider under the AfCFTA Merger and Dominance Thresholds.

The NCAs and other competent authorities at national level were called upon to be part of the discussions organized by the Commission to discuss the findings of the study so that COMESA Member States adopt one position when negotiating at the AfCFTA.