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COMESA Competition Regulation in Cross Border Transactions

Competition is defined as the effort of two or more companies acting independently to secure the business of a customer by offering the most favourable price or terms. In essence, competition is about out-smarting your opponent to win over the customer.

Competition requires regulation because it is prone to abuse by those that do not want to compete fairly. Competition laws therefore aim to create a level playing field so that vibrant competitive and innovative markets can develop.

The COMESA Competition Commission is the body responsible for the enforcement of the COMESA Competition Regulations. It is responsible for making sure that all member states carrying out trade within the COMESA region comply with the rules that encourage free trade.

The COMESA Competition Commission has investigative powers when member states have trade disputes and enforcement processes that harmonize trading within the regional common market.

In Zimbabwe, the Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) implements and aligns Zimbabwe’s competition law with regional bodies such as the COMESA Competition Commission in making our laws favourable for regional trade. The CTC has a local and regional mandate.

For businesses that want to trade beyond national borders the challenge is that competition laws only apply in the country. It is in this context that the work of the COMESA Competition Commission becomes significant.

The COMESA Competition Regulations prohibit abuse of dominance and the COMESA Competition Commission investigates suspected cases on abuse of dominance in mergers and acquisitions involving COMESA member states.

The COMESA Competition Commission is the body responsible for enforcing the COMESA Competition Regulations which control the behaviour of businesses as they compete in the common market. According to the COMESA Competition Commission, its work is aimed at creating greater efficiency, high economic growth, increasing employment opportunities, lowering prices and affording improved choice for customers.

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