ECOWAS TO LAUNCH COMPETITION AUTHORITY

By Tamara Dini Thursday, May 30, 2019
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The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will launch the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA) in Banjul, The Gambia, on 31 May 2019. The ERCA was inaugurated last year.

ECOWAS (also known as CEDEAO, the French acronym for Communauté économique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest) constitutes a regional economic bloc of 15 West African member states, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The ERCA was established to implement the ECOWAS Competition Rules (Rules) adopted in 2008. The Rules govern the promotion of competition and the enhancement of economic efficiency in production, trade and commerce in the region. In particular, the Rules regulate restrictive business practices, the abuse of a dominant position, mergers and acquisitions, and state aid.

Although merger notifications are not compulsory, Article 7(1) of the Supplementary Act a/sa.1/06/08 adopting Community Competition Rules and the modalities of their application within ECOWAS (Act) prohibits concentrations, mergers and acquisitions, which result in the abuse of a dominant market position leading to a substantial reduction of competition. In terms of Article 7(3) of the Act, the ERCA may approve a prohibited transaction if it is in the public interest to do so.

For further information, please reach out to your usual contact in our Competition Practice.