On 16 March 2022 in Cairo, Egypt, members of the Arab Competition Network (the “ACN“) held their first conference to launch this new network. This alert provides a high-level presentation of the ACN, as well as an overview of its mission and goals.

Background and Goals of the ACN

The ACN is a product of the efforts and collaboration of the Arab League and the Egyptian Competition Authority. The ACN aims to provide a platform for the Arabian competition authorities to cooperate with each other to combat anticompetitive practices and to support the competition policies in place, all of which in order to strengthen competition in the Arabian markets.

The ACN aims to achieve the following goals:

  • Allow Arab competition authorities to maintain regular and effective communication, to share and agree on certain concepts and positions;
  • Promote effective cooperation on issues of common concern;
  • Exchange periodically on experiences and updates on the most prominent developments in areas concerning competition;
  • Joint-cooperation between competition authorities on building their capabilities in the field of competition law and policy enforcement;
  • Increase the effectiveness of the joint-cooperation between competition authorities to encourage further growth and free competition within the Arabian markets; and
  • Joint-cooperation in combating the potential obstacles to achieving Arab economic integration.

Actions to be taken by the ACN

In order to achieve its objectives, the ACN agreed to implement the following action items:

  • Periodic Meetings: Members of the ACN will meet once a year to discuss key competition issues.
  • Combined Research: Members of the ACN will cooperate to conduct research on the challenges they face with regard to competition law enforcement and to propose solutions via specialized working groups. Topics will include: vertical and horizontal agreements, abuse of dominance and mergers and acquisitions.
  • Training & Capabilities-Building Programs: Comprehensive training programs tailored to specific needs will be put in place.
  • Knowledge Exchange Programs: This includes the establishment of an electronic knowledge center aimed at exchanging materials on competition policy enforcement and awareness.

Members of the ACN

The ACN includes the following member States: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Libya, Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Oman, Sudan, Yemen, Morocco, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.

Implications and Perspective 

While competition authorities in the region have cooperated in the past on certain cases, the ACN intends to take this effort further by creating an online platform institutionalizing and facilitating the authorities’ cooperation. The ACN will enable case handlers to raise questions of interest and share information and knowledge. This will increase the competition enforcement risk across the region.

For further details on the Saudi Competition Law and its practical impact on your operations in Saudi Arabia, please do not hesitate to contact our Saudi Competition team.


Author

David Monnier heads our Competition and Anti-trust Practice in Saudi Arabia. He advises clients on a wide range of competition related matters, including merger control, distribution, cartels, restrictive practices and investigations. David’s area of practice also includes international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other strategic corporate transactions.

Author

Abdulrahman AlAjlan has 16 years of litigation and commercial experience in Saudi Arabia. He represents clients at the Sharia Courts, the Board of Grievance, the SAMA Committee, Labor Committee, Committee for Negotiable Instruments and all other courts and tribunals. Abdulrahman has extensive arbitration experience, both as an arbitrator and also representing clients in arbitration proceedings.

Author

Mohamed Elfar is a Counsel in Baker McKenzie's Cairo office. He has been involved in numerous competition law cases involving cartels, abuse of dominance, compliance, price fixing and market division, as well as trade disputes related to customs, dumping and safeguards measure. Mohamed has extensive experience in the development and implementation of competition law compliance programmes for multinational companies in a wide range of industry sectors.

Author

Omar Momany is a partner in Habib Al Mulla & Partners, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, and Head of the UAE Corporate/M&A practice. Omar focuses on public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, corporate governance, joint ventures, commercial matters and corporate/shareholders' disputes in the UAE and throughout the region. Omar has over 17 years' experience in the Middle East and has acted for local and regional corporates and financial institutions, governments and regulatory bodies, multinationals, family businesses and royal houses.

Author

Hani Naja is a partner in the Corporate & Commercial practice of Habib Al Mulla & Partners, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International. He has been practicing since 2007 with a focus on M&A, reorganizations and post-acquisition integration as well as corporate structuring in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE and Qatar. Hani also advises on general commercial, corporate governance and compliance matters, and has gained substantive experience in the technology, retail, defense and government sectors.

Author

Hisham Attar joined Legal Advisors Abdulaziz Alajlan & Partners in 2019. Hisham has advised both Saudi Arabian and foreign clients in a wide range of corporate and commercial transactions, including public M&A transactions, and general corporate and advisory, competition, antitrust and capital markets.

Author

Marwan Othman joined Legal Advisors Abdulaziz Alajlan & Partners in 2021 after having gained valuable legal experience in the UK, UAE and Saudi Arabia. Marwan is experienced in advising local and international clients on corporate, regulatory, commercial and contract matters as well as litigation in the areas of real estate, corporate, IT and telecommunications. Additionally, Marwan advises clients on a wide range of antitrust & competition matters, including merger control filings, advisory work as well as investigation related work.

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