Federal Government To Investigate PoS Vendors, Over Price Fixing

by J.J Olawuyi

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (Commission) has announced that it will begin an investigation into Lagos point-of-sale vendors over possible price manipulation.

The Executive Vice Chairman, Babatunde Irukera, revealed this in a statement on Wednesday.

Recall that the Lagos Chapter of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMAN) announced an increase in transaction service fees.

In response to the increase in PoS service fees, the FCCPC asserted that its establishment statute forbids price fixing in order to protect Nigerians’ interests.

The Commission emphasized that it is improper for PoS operators to allegedly fix service fees.

Consumers were advised by the Commission to give accurate and reliable information to aid in investigations and enforcement.

The Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Act of 2018 expressly forbids any price-fixing or agreements between undertakings (whether bilaterally or multilaterally) or by undertakings acting in concert on a platform or under the auspices of an association to fix prices, coordinate supply, or any other commercially sensitive factors that can restrict or significantly prevent competition or otherwise distort the market.

“Setting prices disrupts the market, inhibits innovation and efficiency, and benefits no one but the participants in such criminal plots or behavior, at the expense of consumers or other firms.

When there is sufficient proof that a company has engaged in, or is currently participating in, any such prohibited conduct or arrangement either directly or indirectly, the Commission will work to enforce the law to the fullest extent possible. The FCCPA imposes stiff penalties for cartels or any similar coordinated or collusive conduct among competitors, even at association levels.

The Commission has also launched an investigation to make sure the alleged statement made by AMBANN isn’t inaccurate or wholly representative. The Commission said it will “take relevant regulatory steps to address the conduct in accordance when evidence establishes that the statement is factually accurate.



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