AFC market definition synergy underway

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (GCCPC) is hosting a three-day capacity building synergy of the African Competition Forum (ACF) on market definition with focus on mergers and acquisition.

The forum, which commenced yesterday, is designed to develop case handlers’ skills for merger review and analysis. It brought together participants from the United States Federal Trade Center (FTC) and Competition Authorities across Africa.

Participants are expected to develop the merger investigation planning lessons and skills from previous ACF synergies with a focus on product and geographic market definition in merger analysis.

Chairman of GCCPC, Abdou Kolley thanked ACF/FTC for the collaboration and support to building capacity for competition enforcement in Africa, saying the mergers are critical to business growth and have lately become the most common business growth strategy across the world.

“The Financial Times report that the global value of mergers in 2017 exceeded 3 trillion dollars for the fourth consecutive year,” he said.

He said analysis by Baker McKenzie of Thomson Reuters indicated that the total volume of mergers and acquisition in Africa in the first quarter of 2017 stood at 19.4 billion dollars, but declined to just 8.3 billion dollars in the corresponding period of 2018. “Political and economic uncertainty in many African countries seemed to have contributed to this decline,” he said.

The analysis, he went on, also showed an increase in intra-regional mergers and acquisition deals, underscoring the increasing integration of African economies. “He said the move taken is the establishment of the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA) in The Gambia and the welcoming of the largest economy in the continent; Nigeria, into the Africa competition family,” he added.

Amadou Ceesay, executive secretary of GCCPC said the necessity of defining markets and the methodology have been part of the competition policy since the inception of the Competition Law.

He emphasized that market definition is not an end in itself, but a tool to identify situations where there might be competition concerns. “Market definition is a tool for competitive assessment and not a substitute for it,” he added.

Precious Mathibi, ACF representative disclosed that 12 countries are taking part in the three-day gathering. She thanked GCCPC for hosting the 2019 Africa competition forum mergers.

Author: Fatou B. Cham