COMPETITION COMMISSION V YARA AND OTHERS [2013] ZASCA 107 (13 SEPTEMBER 2013)

Friday, September 13, 2013
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The Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”), in Competition Commission v Yara and Others [2013] ZASCA 107 (13 September 2013), did away with the Competition Appeal Court’s (“CAC”) strict interpretation of what has become known as the Referral Rule. This Rule requires that the referral of a complaint to the Competition Tribunal (“Tribunal”) must correspond with and may not go wider than the complaint submitted by the complainant or initiated by the Competition Commission (“Commission”)1, and if it does go wider, the referral falls to be set aside. Emphasising the importance of the juristic act of initiating a complaint, the SCA maintained that a complaint referral must be preceded by such initiation; however, the referral need not correspond symmetrically with the complaint filed by the complainant since the Commission may, during the course of its investigation of the compliant, informally or tacitly initiate additional complaints.

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