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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Increasing Prices: Competition Council May Only Intervene in Case of Abuse of Dominant Position, Agreement – President

Competition Council President Ahmed Rahhou on Tuesday said that his institution may not take “positions” on the rise or fall of prices, but intervenes “in case of abuse of dominant position or agreement.”

“The role of the Council, as an arbitrator available to those who respect the law and against anti-competitive practices, does not allow it to intervene in the case of rising or falling prices, unless this price change is induced by an abuse of dominant position or agreement,” he said in response to the interventions of journalists during a meeting organized by the Competition Council with the media.

In this sense, he recalled that in Morocco, the law states that the prices of products, goods and services (with the exception of the list of prices of products defined by law, such as administered drugs) can only undergo changes through the supply and demand, which concretely means that “it is the seller or distributor of the product to judge the increase or decrease of prices.”

In this sense, Rahhou has recalled the prohibition of agreements on prices, noting that “when two or more operators meet, they are forbidden to talk about prices, to fix them jointly and to discuss elements that can influence them,” including purchase prices, stock levels and joint storage. This is in order to “protect the consumer and the operators themselves.”

He also highlighted the role of Consumer Protection Law, Price Freedom Law and Competition Law, which set “plurality and non-concertation” as primary objectives in order to avoid shortages, which are often a source of undue and unjustified price increases.

This meeting of the Competition Council with the media is an opportunity to familiarize journalists with the main issues of law and economics of competition, in order to better understand and analyze in depth the issues related to this law with multiple dimensions, legal, economic and social, and also to involve them more in the promotion of actions of “advocacy” and educational initiatives of the regulator of markets.

This meeting was marked by the participation of Polish Ambassador to Morocco Krzysztof Karwowski, experts from the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection of Poland (UOKiK) and experts from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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