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Comesa Commission urges vigilance in companies’ mergers


The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Competition Commission (CCC) is urging vigilance to build on its 10 years of saving consumers from unscrupulous companies, and ensuring services promised are actually rendered without cutting corners.

According to CCC, it has handled varied consumer cases, including investigation into Jumia’s alleged unfavourable terms and conditions on its e-commerce platform and Ethiopian Airlines for not compensating passengers for their lost property.

Others are Airlink’s failure to notify passengers that rescheduling of flights booked through travel agents and other third parties could result in additional changes.

The commission also handled a case involving Malawi Airlines for failure to take passengers to their destination after their flight was rerouted.

“The commission has played an important role in curbing unfair practices by unscrupulous businessmen in the region and has protected consumers on matters of cross-border dimension,” said Comesa Secretary General Chilleshe Kapwepwe at the anniversary in Lilongwe, Malawi.

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CCC says there have been 369 company mergers since it was formed in 2013, all of which it verified before transactions were endorsed.

Mergers included those involving organisations such as SAS Shipping Agencies, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Kenya National Shipping Lines Ltd, and the acquisition by the Coca-Cola Company of Almasi Beverages Limited.

Half of the funds collected by the CCC go to 20 member states of Comesa, to strengthen their capacity building and boost their budgets, CCC officials said at a ceremony to mark its 10 years.

The energy sector had the lion’s share of mergers at 18 percent followed by the banking and insurance industry at 15 percent and then agriculture at 13 percent, according to the CCC.

CCC chief executive Willard Mwemba said the total turnover of the merged entities in the regional market stands at $210 billion.

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