Cartel Indicators

Ms. Rahat Kaunain Hassan, Member (Legal), The Competition Commission of Pakistan

The term cartel meaning “written challenge” originates from medieval French word “Cartel”, from Italian “Cartello”, from Latin “Carta” i.e. card. It came to mean “written agreement between challengers” in 1692 and the term acquired sense of “a commercial trust” in 1902 via German word “Kartell”. It is interesting to point out that the term ‘cartel’ itself is not a legally defined term either in EU or in US and in other competition regimes, it is generally covered through various expressions/terms inter alia ‘concerted practices’, ‘conspiracy’ ‘prohibited agreements’. However, interestingly, in India the term has been incorporated as part of law through the Competition Amendment Act, 2007 and is defined as: "cartel" includes an association of producers, sellers, distributors, traders or service providers who, by agreement amongst themselves, limit, control or attempt to control the production, distribution, sale or price of, or, trade in goods or provision of services.

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Pakistan Competition Government December 2009 Vol. 3, No. 9, Autumn 2009

Rahat Hassan

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Ms. Rahat Kaunain Hassan is Member (Legal) at the Competition Commission of Pakistan. She received L.L.B degree from the University of the Punjab and the L.L.M degree from King's College London. She is a recipient of the coveted Britannia Chevening Scholarship and specialized in the Law of International Finance and International Business transactions. She founded and was a Partner at the Law Firm in Islamabad, Hassan Kaunain Nafees, Legal Practitioners & Advisers, and before joining the Commission had over 15 years of practice as a corporate and commercial lawyer. She has also been a partner at the international law firm, Amhurst Brown, in Islamabad and has also served at the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan as General Counsel/Executive Director (Law & Securities Market Division).

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP)

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The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) was established on 2nd October, 2007 under the Competition Ordinance, 2007 (the “Ordinance”) as a quasi judicial, quasi regulatory, law enforcement agency having a specialized umbrella jurisdiction over the economy as a whole. The Ordinance repealed Monopolies Restrictive Trade Practices (Control and Prevention) Ordinance, 1970 (MRTPO) and replaced the old style Monopoly Control Authority (MCA) by CCP, a modern agency a five Members collegiate body. Major aim of this Ordinance is to provide for a legal framework to create a business environment based on healthy competition towards improving economic efficiency, developing competitiveness and protecting consumers from anti-competitive practices. Although this organization has been established only recently (almost sixteen months old) it has been very proactive; CCP activities in such a short span include: Some landmark decisions re: • Pakistan Banking Association and six banks penalized for cartelization, • A leading telecom company found guilty of SIM locking and product tying • An educational institution found guilty of tying computer sales to admissions • Fauji Fertilizer / Fauji Bin Qasim delinked by ensuring appointment of independent directors • Institute of Chartered Accountant of Pakistan ICAP penalized for minimum fee fixing, stock exchanges penalized for discriminatory floor imposition Important proceedings underway re: • Karachi Stock Exchange abuse of dominance • National Refinery’s refusal to deal, cement manufacturers cartelization, • Karachi Port Trust’s collusive tendering • Secretary APCMA obstruction matter • Cartelization and exclusionary conduct in Liquid Petroleum Gas sector • Newspapers cartelization, deceptive advertising by four banks • deceptive advertising by two cellular companies • Extensive and focused advocacy efforts (assisted by a small DFID/WB grant) The CCP has held six seminars (two with international competition experts) and innumerable bilateral/roundtable deliberations with sector-specific regulators, lawyers, business leaders, and professional bodies.

Pakistan Competition Government December 2009 Vol. 3, No. 9, Autumn 2009
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