oa South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences - A view on the treatment of collusive and restrictive practices in competition policy
|Article Title||A view on the treatment of collusive and restrictive practices in competition policy|
|© Publisher:||University of Pretoria|
|Journal||South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences|
|Affiliations||1 Department of Business Economics, University of the Witwatersrand|
|Publication Date||Mar 1998|
|Pages||8 - 35|
|Keyword(s)||Business, Case studies, Competition, Competition Board, Competition policies, Consumer welfare, Department of Health, Economic efficiency, Economics, Law, Maintenance and Promotion of Competition Act of 1979, Monopoly, National Drug Policy, Parallel prices, Parallel pricing, Pharmaceuticals, Predation, Price discrimination, Retail Pharmacy Cartel, South African Competition Policy, Transparency and Uniform prices|
ISI Social Science
South African competition policy is in a state of flux. While professing to serve so-called national interest, legislation has tended to overlook the principles of economic efficiency and consumer welfare. The South African National Drug policy is a case in point. The best defence against collusion and restrictive practices in business is competition, but the Department of Health favours blanket rules like uniform pricing and a fixed fee-for-service. Thus supermarkets may not employ dispensing pharmacists, and uniform price legislation would make it illegal to negotiate discounts on prescription medicines with retailers. As a rule consumers are the losers. Many fallacies are contained in the debate on the ""right"" competition policy for South Africa. For example, a firm may appear big simply because the domestic market is small.
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