News

CCC Launches Online Questionnaire for Airline Study

PRESS RELEASE

CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) launches virtual questionnaire for airline customers on competition and consumer concerns in CARICOM

By press release dated 2nd September 2020, the CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) informed the regional public of the launch of its Market Study of Scheduled Air Transport in CARICOM.

Three (3) concerns motivate the market study: (a) customer experiences with flight cancellations due to COVID-19; (b) airline ticket pricing; and (c) the legal and regulatory framework that govern competition amongst airlines operating in the region and consumer protection for regional airline customers.

A key data gathering component of the market study is an online survey targeting airline customers in CARICOM. The CCC also urges airline customers in the region whose travel plans were disrupted by COVID-19 to participate in this important exercise.

The link to online airline customer questionnaire is available via the link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FS5YZVQ. It is easy to understand and can be completed in less than 10 minutes using any internet enabled devices such a tablet or mobile phone.

The online questionnaire is also available on the websites and social media platforms of participating national competition and consumer authorities, and ministries responsible for competition and consumer protection in each member state.

Your participation will help the CCC gather information needed to identify potential competition and consumer protection issues in the scheduled air transport sector. Any critical issue identified will be addressed in a coordinated and pro-active way by the regional community for the benefit of airline customers, and the scheduled air transport sector.

As always, please stay safe and follow the health guidance provided by authorities during this COVID-19 pandemic.


Nievia Ramsundar
Executive Director
CARICOM Competition Commission

7th October 2020

To Download the PDF of the Press Release please click here.

CCC establishes COVID-19 Steering Committee

PRESS RELEASE
 
CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) Establishes Steering Committee to Monitor Regional Action Plan for Competition and Consumer Agencies in CARICOM to Mitigate Effects of COVID-19
 
The CCC views the competition and consumer protection laws in the region to be critical now more than ever before as they can help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on commercial and consumer welfare. Promoting competitive markets through competition advocacy and enforcement can support the maintenance of fair competitors or facilitate the entry of new suppliers of essential goods in Member States, thereby reducing prices during the pandemic. Consumer laws can also help advocacy for the health and safety measures.
 
In this regard, the CCC, in consultation with trade, competition and consumer officials, has developed a Regional Action Plan (“Plan”) with collaborative strategies for national competition and consumer protection authorities in the CARICOM during the pandemic. Moreover, the CCC, in partnership with these officials, established a Steering Committee to monitor initiatives taken by Member States, and to provide advice on key policy decisions required at the national level to implement the Plan. 
 
For the full press release outlining the Plan and the current composition of the Steering Committee, click here.
 
Executive Director
CARICOM Competition Commission
Paramaribo
Suriname
4th May 2020
 

CCC announces winners of Essay Competition

CCC Announces Winners of its Inaugural Regional Secondary School Essay Competition

The CCC is pleased to announce the winners of its Inaugural Regional Secondary School Essay Competition. The competition concluded on 30 March 2020. To view the press release with the full list of winners and students the Commission would like to commend for submitting high quality essays, please click here.
 
Justice Christopher Blackman
CARICOM Competition Commission
Paramaribo
Suriname

30 April 2020

Submissions Closed for the Inaugural CCC Regional Essay Contest

Submissions Closed for the Inaugural CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) Secondary School Essay Writing Competition
 
The CCC wishes to announce that the deadline for the submission of essays for its inaugural regional secondary school essay competition was 31 March 2020. The competition is now closed. To view the full press release click here.
 
Justice Christopher Blackman
CARICOM Competition Commission
Paramaribo
Suriname
 
6 April 2020

CCC Statement on COVID-19

CCC Committed to Competitive Markets and Consumer Protection in the CARICOM Region During the Coronavirus Pandemic
 
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for the small economies of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). With Member States closing borders, recommending social distancing and closure of main economic activities such as dining out, “staycations” and other community gatherings, it is fair to say that COVID - 19  has not only impacted the very social fabric of Member States but also commercial and consumer welfare within the Region.
 
It is natural that small to medium businesses would be required to scale down their operations to protect employees. This results in disruptions in the delivery of services and products to consumers. There have also been notable surges in the demand for groceries, personal protective equipment, and healthcare items in recent weeks across the Region, leading to shortages in supplies of these products. These demand and supply shocks have invariably led to price increases throughout the Member States, to the detriment of their most economically vulnerable consumers (i.e. the impoverished). The misinformed are also now susceptible to marketing ploys for goods or services claiming to cure, treat or prevent COVID 19.
 
The CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) believes that through its regional competition and consumer mandates within the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC), the challenges to commercial and consumer welfare associated with COVID-19 can be minimized.  The CCC’s two main priorities are always: ensuring consumers in the region benefit from competitive markets through competition advocacy and enforcement; and promoting the protection of the health and safety of consumers in the Member States.
 
The Commission is of the view that the sale and/or promotion of fraudulent products or services that promise to treat, cure or prevent COVID 19 is a threat to the regional public health and  prohibited under the national consumer protection and/or other relevant national legislation in the region.
 
The CCC further affirms that anti-competitive business conduct aimed at taking advantage of consumers by restricting access or supply to, or excessively raising or maintaining high prices of necessary goods and other items used to protect consumers from COVID 19, is prohibited under the Community Competition Policy and  national competition laws in the Member States that have enacted such laws.
 
To ensure that regional public health is secured and competition in the markets for the supply of goods and items used to protect consumers from COVID 19 are maintained, the CCC will collaborate with its regional partners, such as national competition and consumer protection authorities, sector regulators, non-government consumer organisations, and other regional institutions to:
 
 
  • Engage in competition advocacy to encourage firms to behave responsibly in pricing their products during this pandemic

 

  • Ensure and/or facilitate communication by relevant authorities with businesses and consumers to report sale and pricing practices that are suspected of infringing national competition or consumer protection laws.
 
  • Monitor markets as to whether firms are engaging in conduct which substantially impedes effective competition in markets in key product markets.
 
  • Encourage direct enforcement action is taken against firms that individually or collectively engage in anti-competitive business conduct. For example, firms colluding to fix or charge excessive prices for key products or marketing fraudulent products that claim to prevent, cure or treat COVID 19.
 
  • Advocate for the fast track implementation of national competition and consumer protection laws in Member States without such laws to assist in the ability of agencies to respond effectively to unscrupulous sales and pricing practices in the region.
 
  • Promote a region-wide monitoring policy for prices of critical products and services (voluntary or otherwise) such as selected food and health and safety related items in Member States where market conditions do not currently support effective competition.
 
For further information about the CCC and its mandate under the RTC, please visit our website at www.caricomcompetitioncommission.com. If you wish to report unfair or anti-competitive sale and pricing practices that may be in your Member State, please feel free to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
 
CARICOM Competition Commission
Paramaribo
Suriname
25th March 2020
 
To download this press release please click here
 
 
 

CCC Closes for the Holidays

OFFICE CLOSURE FOR THE HOLIDAYS

The CARICOM Competition Commission wishes to announce that its office will remain closed from 24 December 2019 to 2 January 2020. We assure you that all your emails will be answered as soon as our office reopens on 3 January 2020. The Commission wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

 

CARICOM Competition Commission
Hendrikstraat 69, Paramaribo, Suriname
Tel: (597) 491-455/491-470/ Fax: (597) 530-639
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web site: www.caricomcompetitioncommission.com

CCC issues statement on Scotiabank Acquisition by Republic Bank

DECEMBER 2, 2019
 
PRESS RELEASE  
                                                         CARICOM COMPETITION COMMISSION
 
                                                                      Statement on
Preliminary examination pursuant to Article 176.1 of the RTC on the sale of assets by the Bank of Nova Scotia to Republic Financial Holdings
 
On 5 December 2018, the CARICOM Competition Commission (“the Commission”) announced it was monitoring developments regarding the proposed acquisition of the banking assets of the Bank of Nova Scotia (“Scotiabank”) by Republic Financial Holdings Ltd (“Republic Financial”).
 
On 27 March 2019, the Commission announced it had completed an internal assessment of the acquisition pursuant to Article 173(2)(a) of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (“the RTC”). The internal assessment indicated that the acquisition could have anticompetitive effects in at least three (3) Member States in the Community.
 
As the Commission continued to engage the relevant sector regulators of the affected Member States, the following developments occurred: the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) announced that, subject to one condition, it approved the proposed acquisition in relation to Anguilla, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, pursuant to Section 43 of the Banking Act; and the Bank of Guyana (“the BoG”), announced that it did not grant approval for the proposed acquisition in Guyana.
 
Upon the review of the legal framework regarding its powers to monitor and investigate potentially anti-competitive conduct, the Commission concludes that while the acquisition fell within its cross-border jurisdiction, it is not in a position to investigate the transaction because of inadequate legislative and institutional frameworks in the Member States affected.
 
The Commission maintains that the transaction still creates competition concerns in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (“ECCU”). However, considering it does not have jurisdiction to investigate the acquisition in the Member States affected at this time, the Commission wishes to announce its closure of its preliminary assessment of the transaction. The Commission will also continue to monitor the banking sectors of the ECCU and engage in advocacy around competition issues in that sector where feasible.
 
The Commission takes this opportunity to encourage Member States in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy to prioritise the finalisation and implementation of competition legislation to strengthen the capacity of the region to address these important matters.

CARICOM Competition Commission
Hendrikstraat 69, Paramaribo, Suriname
Tel: (597) 491-455/491-470/ Fax: (597) 530-639
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web site: www.caricomcompetitioncommission.com

 

Merger Workshop for Competition Authorities in the Caribbean

Press Release

11 September 2019

                              Merger Workshop for Competition Authorities in the Caribbean
                                            Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
                                                18-20 September 2019


The Commission is mandated to promote the development and harmonization of competition laws and policy and to facilitate the exchange of relevant information and expertise. In furtherance of the achievement of this objective, the Commission has partnered with the US Federal Trade Commission (USFTC) for a focused Workshop on merger control for national competition authorities in the CARICOM region from Wednesday 18th September 2019 to Friday 20th September 2019 in Trinidad.

For the full press release please click here.

For the agenda click here.

Seminar on Competition Law and Policy for the OECS Sub-Region

Press Release

11 September 2019


                         Seminar on Competition Law and Policy for the OECS Sub-Region
                                             Radisson Beach Resort, Grenada
                                                    16 September 2019


The CARICOM Competition Commission wishes to announce that there will be a one-day
seminar on competition law and policy for the countries of the Organisation of Eastern
Caribbean States (OECS) on 16th September 2019 at the Radisson Beach Resort in Grenada.

For the full press release please click here.

For the agenda, click here.

CARICOM Competition Commission Launches Regional Essay Competition

June 26, 2019

Press Release
 
CARICOM Competition Commission Launches Regional Youth Essay Writing Competition for Students

     The CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) was established under Article 171 of the Revised Treat of Chaguaramas (RTC) of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  In anticipation of the growth in trade and investments which was expected to emerge from the introduction of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), CARICOM took the decision to enhance its competition laws and policy and this was the basis for the introduction of the CCC.

      The CCC was inaugurated in January 2008 and over the past decade of operations, it has been engaged in a number of events to promote fair competition and consumer protection in the region in execution of the mandate to facilitate the exchange of relevant information and expertise and develop and disseminate information about competition policy and consumer protection.

      It is against this background that the CCC is launching its inaugural CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) Secondary School Essay Competition, targeting secondary school students between the ages of 12 and 19 years. To be eligible, participants must be resident in a CARICOM Member State. The categories and age as at the date of the deadline for essay submissions must be either:
 
    • Category 1:       12-15 years
    • Category 2:       16-19 years.
 
      Students can choose one of the following two topics:
 
    1. How does fair competition among businesses benefit me and my region?
    2. How does consumer protection law benefit me and my region?
 
      The following awards will be given to the winning essays of each category:
 
    • 1st prize           - USD1,000.00
    • 2nd prize          - USD750.00
    • 3rd prize           - USD500.00
 
      A prize will also be given to the schools of the winning essays.
 
     Click here to see the terms and conditions for the Essay Competition and here for the application form for the contest.
 
      We look forward to active involvement and participation in this inaugural event.
 
      Justice Christopher Blackman
      Chairman