This paper designed to give the participants /readers a nutshell about Competition law of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.Competition Policy is an instrument to achieve efficient allocation of resources, technical progress, consumerwelfare and to regulate concentration of economic power detrimental to competition.For competition policy to be existed two requirements must to be fulfilled, according to Mandalla. First, there is a need for an effective antitrust law to deal with the anticompetitive behavior of firms and secondly, there is a need to examine and evaluate government policies that impact on competition. Antitrust law, the regulation of monopolies, consumer protection and regulation of domestic policy and regulation are generally considered to be an integral parts of competition policy.
Competition law and policies, since the emergence of the concept, have been used in different countries in different eras through public and private enforcement. Competition laws are regulated primarily to promote and maintain fair competition.Competition law is essentially to address private and public restrictions on competition. The model law on competition put forward by the United Nations conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) outlines the aim of competition law as:To control or eliminate restrictive agreements or arrangements among enterprises, or merger and acquisitions or abuse of dominant positions of market power, which limit access to markets or otherwise unduly restrain competition, adversely affecting domestic or international trade or economic development. In Ethiopia, there hasn’t been any unified and independent consumer protection law until 2010, except the repealed Trade Practices Proclamation N0 329/2003, which had a limited protection for consumers.In August, 2010, the Federal parliament enacted Proclamation N0 685/2010 in which wholly repealed the previous Proclamation N0 329/2003.The proclamation is a new development in granting consumers’ rights up to establishing an autonomous government agency.
Ethiopian trade competition and consumer protection law In Ethiopia, for long, there has been no unified consumer protection law. The protections accorded to consumers have been based on various private laws such as the law of contract and extra contractual liability law, and public laws including the criminal law and regulatory laws of different nature. Ethiopia has gone through different economic systems, state controlled market economy, mixed economy and free market economy that started since 1991.Following the takeover of power by pro socialism regime in 1974, almost all economic establishments were nationalized.
All modern economic establishment including land, banks and insurance companies, manufacturing, transport, trade enterprises, commercial farms, urban rented houses, etc., were nationalized.After the downfall of the Dergue regime in 1991, By EPRDF, the political and economic structure of the country has changed ever since. Among the policy reforms that has made by the new government were, economic development strategy, industrialization Strategy, Financial policy, Trade policy, Privatization, Monetary and Exchange rate policies, investment policy and restructuring and competition.In 2003 the country proclaimed the first competition law in history, which was named as Trade Practice Proclamation. After the proclamation was in effect, critics arise as it mixed up competition and regulation and failed to fairly address basic principles in competition law. It was, therefore, not normally defined as competition proclamation as it involved issues outside competition such trade policy, unfair competition, anti-dumping, and price regulation.
Its major objectives include: securing a fair competitive environment through the prevention and elimination of anticompetitive environment through prevention and elimination of anticompetitive and unfair trade practice; and safeguarding the interest of consumers through the preventions and elimination of restraints on the efficiency supply and distribution of goods and services.In 2014 the new proclamation, by repealing the old, was effected named as Trade competition and ConsumersProtection Proclamation . The proclamation applies to all commercial activities except such “activities that are, according to investment proclamation, exclusively reserved for the Government.” Besides, ” enterprises having significant impact on development and designed by the Government to fasten growth and facilitating development” are also excluded and so are “basic goods or services that are subject to price regulation.” The new proclamation is better in addressing competition issues. This article summarizes the main competition matters addressed by the new proclamation.
I.e. abuse of market dominance, regulation of restrictive agreements and regulation of mergers.