Competition & Antitrust, Pakistan updates

Competition Commission investigates nine animal feed manufacturers for deceptive marketing
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • March 15 2018

The Competition Commission recently initiated proceedings against nine animal and livestock feed manufacturers for engaging in deceptive marketing practices under the Competition Act 2010. The commission imposed a penalty of PRs2.7 million on the respondents and ordered them to cease their unauthorised use of the complainant's registered trademark and copycat packaging and file individual compliance reports.

Six fruit juice manufacturers investigated for deceptive marketing practices
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • December 07 2017

The Competition Commission recently initiated an enquiry into six fruit juice manufacturers for misleading consumers and engaging in deceptive marketing practices under the Competition Act. The enquiry committee concluded that the respondents' marketing of their fruit juice brands to consumers using unjustified claims amounted to the distribution of false and misleading information to the general public, which could harm the business interests of other undertakings in the same industry.

Inconspicuous disclaimers and claims lacking reasonable basis: are they deceptive marketing practices?
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • September 28 2017

The Competition Commission recently conducted an enquiry and initiated proceedings against Proctor & Gamble Pakistan (Private) Limited following a complaint for deceptive marketing practices filed by Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan Limited. The commission found that the respondent had violated Section 10 of the Competition Act 2010 and imposed a penalty of PRs10 million.

Competition Commission finds that online shopping platform violates Competition Act
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • June 29 2017

Following a complaint filed by an individual against Kaymu (an online shopping platform) for deceptive marketing practices, the Competition Commission conducted an enquiry and found that Kaymu had been involved in the dissemination of false and misleading information to consumers. These actions had resulted in Kaymu having a competitive advantage over other undertakings in the same line of business, leading to a prima facie violation of the Competition Act.

Overview of recent Competition Commission activities
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • December 22 2016

The Competition Commission recently launched its Competition Advocacy Academia Drive campaign, which aims to promote awareness of competition law among university students and faculty members. The commission has also issued a show cause notice against the Pharma Bureau for alleged collusive activities, launched an enquiry into alleged deceptive marketing practices and issued a policy note regarding competition rules in the telecoms sector.

Commission finds that similar logos not always anti-competitive
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • September 22 2016

The Competition Commission recently conducted an enquiry into a complaint of deceptive market practices relating to the use of similar logos by motorcycle companies. It found that none of the accused could be held responsible for the alleged deceptive marketing practices, as their conduct and use of the objectionable logos did not amount to the distribution of false or misleading information within the meaning of Section 10 of the Competition Act 2010.

Pakistan Engineering Council found guilty of restricting competition in insurance market
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • July 07 2016

The Competition Commission recently initiated proceedings against the Pakistan Engineering Council following a complaint that it had restricted competition in the insurance market for public civil works. The bidding documents that the council prepared for public sector engineering projects contained provisions restricting insurance cover for public civil works to AA-rated insurers.

Competition Commission imposes highest-ever penalty for deceptive marketing practices
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • April 14 2016

The Competition Act 2010 does not cover the concept of parasitic copying or copycat packaging. However, in its recent order against Dawn Foods, the commission broadened the scope of deceptive marketing practices by recognising unfair competition through the practice of parasitic copying and copycat packaging for the first time in Pakistan.

Competition law road show
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • January 28 2016

The Competition Commission has established a road show, including seminars in 20 major cities, to help stakeholders to understand the importance of the Competition Act 2010. The commission aims to help companies improve their business practices, which in turn will create fairness for all businesses to compete, innovate and become profitable, and thus help to improve the economy.

Commission approves integration of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • December 10 2015

The integration of the Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges was recently approved during a hearing of the Phase 2 review of the pre-merger application following the order that the commission had passed in the Phase 1 review. During the hearing, all parties responded at length to the concerns raised in the order and to additional queries posed by the bench. A detailed order providing the commission's reasoning will follow in due course.

Policy note on imposition of duty on steel billet imports reviewed
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • December 03 2015

The Competition Commission recently examined a statutory regulatory order issued by the federal government imposing a 15% regulatory duty on imported steel billets. The commission concluded that this regulatory duty on the import of steel billets affected the cascading nature of the tariff structure and recommended a reduction to create a level playing field in the market for steel products.

Commission examines fare increases by private airlines
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • November 26 2015

The Competition Commission recently examined increases in air fares by certain private airlines, which appear to have taken advantage of the ongoing dispute between Pakistan International Airlines and the Airline Pilots Association. The commission will investigate whether the private airlines have abused their dominant position or engaged in anti-competitive practices by taking advantage of the crisis at Pakistan International Airlines.

Recommendations on price control mechanism for essential foodstuffs
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • November 19 2015

The Competition Commission recently announced details of a meeting regarding recommendations on the price control mechanism for essential food commodities. The commission will now finalise its recommendations based on the suggestions received from stakeholders and present them at the next meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee.

Commission concludes investigation into insurance for public works
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • October 22 2015

The Competition Commission recently concluded its investigation into allegations that the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) had restricted insurance coverage of public civil works to AA-rated insurers. The commission determined that the restriction had reduced and distorted competition in the relevant market and recommended that proceedings be initiated against the PEC.

Competition Commission issues show cause notices to medical institutions
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • August 27 2015

The Competition Commission recently issued show cause notices to eight medical institutions for alleged violation of the Competition Act 2010, which prohibits business undertakings from engaging in deceptive marketing practices. The institutions had misrepresented their Medical and Dental Council recognition on their websites or failed to communicate the restrictions imposed on admissions.

Recent Competition Commission developments
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • July 02 2015

The Competition Commission recently signed a memorandum of understanding for the sharing of information with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. Further, the commission issued a policy note that recommended amendments to the Insurance Ordinance 2000 to open up the insurance of public property to the private sector.

Commission issues opinion on procurement of electric power equipment
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • April 30 2015

The latest in a series of enforcement and advocacy efforts by the Competition Commission is an opinion providing recommendations concerning anti-competitive practices by public sector procuring agencies in relation to tenders for procurement of electrical equipment. The commission's opinion serves as a guideline for procuring agencies when designing tender documents.

Competition Commission dismisses abuse of dominance complaints
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • November 27 2014

The Competition Commission recently dismissed two complaints made under Section 3 of the Competition Act 2010: one filed by Wise Communication Systems Limited against Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited and the other brought by a manufacturer of bi-axially oriented polypropylene film.

Commission rules on discriminatory application of inland freight equalisation margin
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • October 02 2014

The Competition Commission has issued an opinion to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources eliminating the discriminatory application of the inland freight equalisation margin and creating a level playing field for all refineries and oil marketing companies active in the crude and refined oil markets.

Competition Commission wins World Bank Competition Advocacy Contest
Vellani & Vellani
  • Pakistan
  • July 03 2014

The Competition Commission of Pakistan's efforts in sensitising the government and regulatory bodies to potential competition concerns were recently recognised and commended by the World Bank. The commission won the World Bank Competition Advocacy Contest 2013 for conducting advocacy to increase competition in Pakistan's air transportation market on the route between Pakistan and Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

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