Samoa Competition and Consumer Commission
OBJECTIVES OF THE COMPETITION AND CONSUMER
- Promote competitive markets in Samoa
- Establish standards of conduct for those who trade in Samoa
- Protect the safety and interests of the consumers
ROLE OF THE COMMISSION
One of the main features of the Act is the establishment of a new body – the Samoa Competition and Consumer Commission. This commission will be independent, and will provide advice to the Minister on competition and consumer protection, provide education for the public on the law, promote compliance, conduct investigations into complaints, and recommend price control orders be made in circumstances where there is no effective competition.
The Samoa Competition and Consumer Commission will therefore bring together a range of skills to be a centre of excellence in competition and consumer policy, and provide a high level of service to the Minister and the community more broadly in this important area of administration. Ultimately, this Commission will help to ensure the efficient functioning of markets and competition in Samoa, while protecting consumers.Role of the Commission Brochure
The new competition rules prohibit anti-competitive practices, such as bid rigging, and the abuse of market power by large businesses. The new rules also prohibit acquisitions or mergers that would substantially lessen competition in the Samoan marketplace.
The updated consumer protection rules prohibit misleading and deceptive conduct by traders and a variety of other unfair practices, establish consumer guarantees for the protection of Samoan consumers, and provide for safety and information standards for consumer goods and services.
- Price Fixing is an agreement between participants on the same side in a market to buy or sell a product, service or commodity only at a fixed price, or maintained the market conditions such that the price is maintained at a given level by controlling supply and demand.
- Market sharing normally occurs where traders agree to divide up a market and agree to not compete with each other.
- Collective boycott occurs when a group of competitors agree not to acquire goods and services from or to supply goods and services to a business with whom the group is negotiating, unless the business accepts the terms and conditions offered by the group.
- Abuses of market power occur when business with a substantial degree of power in a market is not allowed to use the power for the purpose of eliminating or substantially damaging a competitor.
- Bid rigging is also prohibited is a type of price fixing where there is an agreement between competitors about which of them should win a bid.
The law opens markets to competition – this means the removal of price controls. However, price controls can be re-introduced for specific goods if the Commission believes that there is no effective competition in the market for those good