EAC to Harmonize Competition Rules

On 16 May 2023, the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) and the East African Community Competition Authority (EACCA) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) whose objective is to ensure the execution of the two authorities’ respective mandates in order to enhance regional integration, cross-border trade and investment. By the end of December 2024, the two agencies have committed to, among others, review and streamline merger notification guidelines, development and implementation of information sharing framework for cross-border laws. The two agencies also seek to implement a single notification and harmonized regime to ensure the process is predictable and saves businesses time and cost.

For purposes of coordinated collaboration, CAK and EACCA have established a working group to implement several prioritized activities through annual plans. The agencies will also review complementary regulations and guidelines to ensure they are fit for purpose and hold joint capacity-building sessions to ensure that case officers are up-skilled to adequately attend to emerging issues, especially those presented by the digital economy that transcends borders

Notably, the MoU between CAK and the EACCA does not lock out other EAC countries. Infact, the MoU provides that watchdogs who want to buy into common rules will be at liberty to submit observations and cooperate with peers and the EAC in implementing the regulatory framework supportive of investments  while purposely extinguishing harmful anti-competitive conduct.

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