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The SA Competition Commission Delays Publishing the Recommendations of its Market Inquiry on Intermediation Platforms

This Newsletter has reported on this Online Intermediation Platforms Market Inquiry (OIPMI) since it was launched in 2020. On 18 April the Proposed Regulations and Guidelines were supposed to have been published, however, an extension until 19 May has been agreed. It is not sure why publication of the proposals for regulations have been delayed. Some observers think that the Competition Commission members had not been fully advised on the results of the OIPMI. Others feel that there may be other reasons, such as possible regulations planned by government that had not been considered. In any case, we should see the final version in mid-May. EFSA has consistently warned the Commission that ecommerce is still very new in SA and that regulating the leaders will affect the SMEs and social commerce sellers that depend on the delivery and payment services created by the major players.

As an example, ecommerce platforms like Jumia and Konga in Nigeria, Kilimall in Kenya, and Takealot in SA have gained popularity due to their ease of use and convenience. Digital wallets such as Flutterwave, Paystack, and Cellulant in Africa allow users to store their payment information securely and make transactions through their mobile devices. Online education platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and EdX offer a range of courses and degrees that can be accessed online from anywhere in the world. With the rise of remote work and the need for continuous learning, online education is likely to become even more popular in the future. In Nigeria, ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Bolt, and OCar have become increasingly popular due to their convenience and ease of use. These services offer cashless payment options, allowing users to pay for their rides through digital payment platforms like Paga or through their debit/credit cards.

EFSA has also expressed alarm that the Commission gave no consideration of the potential for competition from other African platforms growing out of the AfCFTA.

Alastair Tempest

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