News

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
 

Update from CCC on Scotia Bank & Republic Bank transactions

April 1, 2019
 
Press Release  
                                                         CARICOM Competition Commission
 
                                                                      Statement on
Completion of a preliminary assessment and intention to request preliminary examination pursuant to Article 176(1) of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC) on the sale of assets by the Bank of Nova Scotia to Republic Financial Holdings and Sagicor Financial Corporation
 
On 5th December 2018, the Commission advised the public that it took note of an announcement on 28th November 2018 by the Bank of Nova Scotia (“Scotiabank”) of an intended sale of banking assets in nine (9) territories in the Caribbean to Republic Financial Holdings Ltd (“Republic Financial”) and life insurance operations in another two (2) territories (Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago) to Sagicor Financial Corporation (“proposed transaction”).
 
For the full statement please click here.

World Consumer Rights Day 2019

                                                                       Press Release 

Wednesday 13 March 

                                                     WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY 2019:
                                                             “Trusted Smart Products”
 
On 15 March 2019, consumer organisations across the globe will celebrate World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD).  This year the theme for WCRD is “Trusted Smart Products”, with the campaign aimed at promoting the development of digital products and services that consumers want and need.
 
The CARICOM Competition Commission (“Commission”) recognises that over the past decade the use of smart products and smartphones, have increased within the region. Smart devices and smartphones provide many opportunities and conveniences for consumers in their daily lives. However, despite the personalised benefits these smart products and their associated application software provide, they also raise several important concerns for consumers relating to data protection and privacy.
 
Data privacy, in particular, is one of the most critical social issues associated with digital electronic information technologies.  The protection of personal data and privacy are key drivers for consumer trust in smart devices and smartphones. As such, the fair, safe and transparent use and collection of consumer data is important. As a region, we must ensure the reform of national laws and policies to mitigate against the erosion of privacy resulting from technology-based systems and practices and protect the right of consumers to privacy.
 
Within CARICOM, data privacy is dealt with by many of the Member States under various pieces of legislation which all seek to regulate the collection, storage, processing, use and dissemination of personal data, and the protection of the privacy of individuals in relation to personal data. 
 
 This year, the Commission looks forward to exploring the issue of internet privacy and data collection from the consumer protection and competition law perspectives. Noting that within the international arena the implications of “big” data collection by dominant business enterprises on competition in digital marketplaces is a budding discussion, the Commission will commence the engagement of its regional and international partners and continue to monitor these developments.
 
For any more information about the work of the Commission in consumer protection and competition law, please view our website at www.caricomcompetitioncommission.com.

Justice Christopher Blackman
Chairman
CARICOM Competition Commission

 

Press Release From The CARICOM Competition Commission

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CARICOM COMPETITION COMMISSION


January 21st, 2019


APPOINTMENT OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SENIOR LEGAL COUNSEL AND REGISTRAR TO THE CARICOM COMPETITION COMMISSION (CCC)


The CCC was established to help enforce the CARICOM Rules of Competition and to regulate competition in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Its principle functions are to apply the rules of competition, promote competition, and to assist Member States to protect consumers.


The CARICOM Competition Commission (Commission) is pleased to announce the appointment of three senior professional staff members to its team in January 2019, to better enable the Commission to carry out its functions.


Ms. Nievia Ramsundar was appointed as the Executive Director of the Commission effective January 14, 2019.  Ms. Ramsundar is an attorney at law with over 18 years’ experience in utilities, environmental and communications regulation, corporate law, intellectual property law and competition law. Ms. Ramsundar holds a Bachelor of Laws degree, University of the West Indies, Barbados; Legal Education Certificate, Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad; Postgraduate Diploma, Economics for Competition Law, Kings’ College, University of London; and Master of Laws from Queen Mary College, University of London.


Mr. Marc Jones joins the Commission from the Jamaica Fair Trading Commission where he served for over five years as an attorney at law in the areas of competition law investigations, litigation, regulatory and commercial practice. Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor of Laws, University of the West Indies, Barbados, Legal Education Certificate, Norman Manley Law School, Jamaica; Post Graduate Diploma in Competition Law, Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands; and a Master of Business Administration, Mona School of Business Administration, Jamaica.


Mrs. Deirdre Gosse served as the former Chief Executive Officer of the Registrar General’s Department, Jamaica, for a period of six years. She is an Attorney-at-Law, with over twenty years’ experience. Ms. Gosse holds a Bachelor of Laws, University of the West Indies, Barbados; Legal Education Certificate, Norman Manley Law School, Jamaica; Post Graduate Certificate in Strategic Management, University College of the Caribbean; Post-graduate Certificate in Telecommunications Policy and Management, University of the West Indies, Mona School of Business, Jamaica; and a Master of Laws, University of Strathclyde.


Justice Christopher Blackman
Chairman
CARICOM Competition Commission


CCC's 2019 Work Programme

CARICOM Competition Commission 2019 Work Programme

7 January 2019

The CCC's Workprogramme was approved at the 47th COTED meeting in November 2018.

For the full document, please click here.

STATEMENT: On The Sale of Banking and Insurance Assets by the Bank of Nova Scotia to Republic Financial Holdings and Sagicor Financial Corporation

December 5, 2018

                                              CARICOM COMPETITION COMMISSION

                                                       Statement on

 The sale of banking and insurance assets by the Bank of Nova Scotia to
Republic Financial Holdings and Sagicor Financial Corporation

The Commission in its monitoring of business activity in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), has taken note of the  announcement  on 28th November 2018 by the Bank of Nova Scotia (“Scotiabank”) of its intended transaction to sell banking assets in nine (9) English and Dutch speaking countries in the Caribbean.

For the full statement please click here.