Competitive markets keep businesses sharp. They force businesses to operate at the lowest costs, encourage continued research and innovation and allow for the efficient allocation of resources. They therefore are more likely to generate sustained employment, increased savings, and higher disposable incomes.
Anti-competitive conduct disrupts such markets. They
represent practices that seek the promotion of narrow special interests over
and above those of the entire society. On this basis therefore there is a case
for regulatory intervention to eliminate such practices, and restore the
necessary competitiveness of the affected markets. The Fair Trading Commission
under the Fair Competition Act fulfils this responsibility.
Under the Fair Competition Act introduced on January
3rd, 2003, our role has been to promote and maintain effective and healthy
competition in the Barbadian market and prevent anti-competitive conduct.
There are several ways we carry out this duty. The
division’s officers work at informing and educating businesses and
consumers about the benefits of the competitive process and about their duties
in ensuring that the process is protected.
They also monitor the business environment for the
purpose of identifying and prohibiting any anti-competitive practices that
would jeopardise and distort the competitive process.
If such behaviour is identified, the Commission has
the power to investigate allegations of anti-competitive behaviour, obtain
information by summoning witnesses, require the production of documents and if
necessary bring action to court.
In this section, you will
find lots of information on the work of this division, plus useful advice and
resources. You will find links to our Legislation, Frequently Asked Questions
and Publications . You will also find some helpful hints in the What is
Anti-Competitive Behaviour section, which outlines what is considered
anti-competitive behaviour. In addition, you can also educate yourself on the
rules involved in making an application to the Commission for permission to
effect a merger in the Merger Guidelines document.