The Accepted Authority for Competition (the “Authority”) fair nowadays revealed its most in annual vogue file referring to its activity in 2021. This file reveals that since the introduction of the recent Competition Law1 (the “Law”) in Saudi Arabia in September 2019, the authority has reinforced its sources and taken a preference of initiatives to secure consciousness concerning the law and that it has critically elevated its enforcement in opposition to violators.
This alert offers an overview of the key initiatives and actions utilized by the Authority in 2021.
Merger Withhold watch over in Numbers
The Law launched an essential merger abet watch over regime in the Kingdom, shooting a broad preference of transactions, from M&A transactions to the formation of full-function joint-ventures. Whereas there used to be at the inspiration some uncertainty concerning the requirement to bid the Authority shortly after the Law used to be enacted, a preference of home and global market avid gamers determined to bid their reportable transactions in 2021. The following statistics clearly evidence this vogue:
• There used to be a significant increase in the preference of merger abet watch over capabilities submitted to the authority in 2021 (295 filings) when compared to 2020 (137 filings).
• The capabilities in 2021 included 150 paunchy merger abet watch over filings (ie requests for a No-Objection certificate) and 128 fast salvage filings (ie requests for a No-Notification Required certificate).
• Out of the 150 paunchy merger abet watch over filings, seventy 9% had been linked to acquisitions, 12% to mergers and 9% to joint ventures.
• These capabilities have been submitted by firms working in the next five sectors: including manufacturing, wholesale and retail, records and dialog, finance and insurance coverage, and skilled, scientific and technical products and companies.
• Constant with the Authority’s social media channels, the general preference of merger abet watch over capabilities at the survival of the third quarter of 2022 is roughly 227.
Complaints & Investigations
The preference of complaints obtained by the Authority in 2021 elevated by 112%, from 64 in 2020 to 136 complaints in 2021. That is probably going to be the staying results of the Authority’s initiatives aiming at elevating consciousness concerning the importance of competitors’ compliance in the Kingdom, as smartly as its rising enforcement in opposition to violators.
• 44.4% of the complaints obtained in 2021 linked to the wholesale and retail alternate sector.
• In nearly every case following a criticism (93.5%), the authority initiated a preliminary review of the grief.
• Total in 2021, the Authority conducted 31 investigations which enthusiastic a total of 150 firms, 52 of which had been indicted by the Authority.
• The Authority utilized 257 shatter of day raids in 2021, representing a 133% increase when compared to 2020.
• The final quantity of fines imposed by the Authority and native courts in 2021 amounted to SAR 189,730,000 (roughly USD 50,594,667) in terms of violations of the Law.
• The fines had been imposed on energy firms in the next high 5 industries:
• It’s miles charged noting that the Authority has fair nowadays started taking enforcement actions in opposition to international firms as smartly as local entities.
Extra initiatives taken by the Authority
• In 2021, the Authority developed and approved its 2022-2025 map, which involves the next:
o the enchancment of the Nationwide Competition Protection, which goals to outline and pick the principles, put legislation and general insurance policies that attach the idea of competitors that will also be adopted to reform local market constructions and abet watch over competitive habits in such markets;
o the commencement of the “Compliance Awards”, which aims at incentivizing firms to comply with the Law and its imposing regulations; o the preparation and newsletter of Compliance Pointers; and
o the promotion of leniency and settlement packages, which would be designed to permit violating firms to salvage pleasure from diminished penalties and obvious steer of publicity.
• The Authority cooperated with a preference of global competitors authorities in 2021, including the Egyptian, Brazilian and Australian competitors authorities. The collaboration aimed to promote and increase competitors, moreover to alternate skills and make contributions to the improvement of the regional and global competitors insurance policies.
• In the community, the Authority partnered with several government companies to promote and offer protection to competitors in the Kingdom. Examples encompass with the Saudi Meals and Drug Authority and the Nationwide collaboration Center for Raze Management.
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