In the past year, competition authorities in Egypt and Saudi Arabia have shown increased assertiveness in enforcing their national competition laws. Pursuant to their respective competition laws, the Egyptian Competition Authority barred the use of anti-competitive contractual clauses imposed by a market-dominant food-delivery enterprise, and the Saudi General Authority for Competition blocked proposed transactions in the energy and food-delivery sectors.
A recent joint action by both competition authorities indicates that they are anticipating exercising their enforcement authority with regard to transnational anticompetitive conduct. The Chief Executive Officer of the General Authority for Competition, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Zum, and the head of the Egyptian Competition Authority, Dr. Mahmoud Mumtaz, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that, according to Arab News, “seeks to prevent monopolistic practices that restrict competition, in an effort to boost cooperation while respecting the laws of both countries.”
Dr. Al-Zumm reportedly indicated that the MOU “includes areas of cooperation and exchange of consultations and experiences through mutual visits to the headquarters of competition authorities in the two countries, as well as through official electronic communication channels and other means of communication between experts and technicians of the two parties on issues of common interest.” Dr. Mumtaz further explained that the MOU “focuses on a number of areas of cooperation that include exchanging information and experiences in the field of promoting competition and preventing monopolistic practices, in a way that facilitates and enhances the performance of the functions of both sides, especially with regard to the role of competitive guidance and how to set policies that enhance competition in markets.”