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Peeping at Malawi's tobacco industry with an anti-trust lens : are there thieves at the dinner table?

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This article critically analyses the structure and conduct of business in the tobacco industry in Malawi from a competition law point of view. The tobacco industry in Malawi is an old one dating back to colonial days, but until fairly recently, Malawi had no law regulating competition and fair trading. Hence the fight against anti-competitive practices in the industry did not have the full backing of the law. In light of the now operational Competition and Fair Trading Act as well as the international jurisprudence on the subject, this article focuses on one aspect of competition law called cartels and analyses whether traits of cartel behaviour are prevalent in the tobacco industry in Malawi. It is hoped that the points that are raised in this article will spur the Competition Commission into action to look into anti-competitive practices in the industry, more especially the cartels.

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