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International
Mozambique in the Process of Implementing a New Competition Regime
The proliferation of competition regimes worldwide is a clear trend of the transition to the twenty-first century which, contrary to what could be expected, has not subsided with the 2007-2008 worldwide economic crisis. In fact, this apparently irresistible movement has even led some, as Judge Ginsburg, to comment in a rather provocative manner during the recent ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting that there were by far too many competition regimes worldwide (leading to an overlap between various regimes and problems of enforcement as regards transnational transactions). While acknowledging the actual issues emphasized by this prestigious voice of Judge Ginsburg, I consider that we still stand to gain from an expansion of competition regimes to economies in transition, provided that the particularities of the introducing ‘ex novo’ competition rules in these contexts is duly pondered. This applies to the recent developments concerning the implementation of the new 2013 Competition Law of Mozambique. As a previous disclaimer, I should add that I have been acting as from December 2013 as consultant of the Government of Mozambique for the purposes of implementing this competition regime (with the support of several international agencies for economic development). Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony in the Southeast of Africa, that approved a Socialist Constitution after gaining independence in 1975 and also endured a civil war for various years, has been
Enforcement Institutions/procedure
Competition Policy Priorities for the Year 2014 in Portugal
In accordance with the provisions of article 7, par. 3 of Portuguese Competition Act (hereinafter, ‘PCA’) arising of the 2012 comprehensive reform (Law nº 19/2012), the Portuguese Competition Authority (hereinafter ‘AdC’) set out by the end of 2013 the “Priorities of Competition Policy for 2014”. This happens only some months after the Government empowered a new President of AdC (Prof. António Ferreira Gomes, formerly at the OECD). After emphasizing as new relevant developments to take into consideration in the course of 2014, the importance of the new provisions of the 2012 PCA and the establishment of the specialized Competition and Regulation Court, the AdC set as its priorities (i) the safeguard of effective competition towards a dynamic economy, (ii) the promotion of a competition culture and of transparency and (iii) the reinforcement of the capacity of intervention of the Authority. As regards safeguarding effective competition (i), particularly noteworthy is the fact that AdC, beside a stated intention of fighting cartels, promoting for that the leniency regime (scarcely used so far in Portugal), also purports to act ‘ex officio’ against anticompetitive practices regardless of complaints and of leniency applications. That is a development to welcome since these days some Competition Authorities tend to rely almost exclusively on leniency and focus entirely on cartels (thus unduly reducing their scope of action). Also of the