Competition and the Consumer
You may think that
the work of the Fair Competition division is mostly to do with businesses and
you would be right – to some extent.
The role of the
division is to promote and maintain effective and healthy competition in the Barbadian
market, after all. Hence the day-to-day duties of the officers involve
monitoring and if necessary, investigating commercial activities in Barbados.
principle underpinning this work is the best interests of consumers, which is the
guiding force for our actions.
connection between encouraging healthy competition and its benefits to the
consumer are not always immediately evident so consumers may not pick up on it
right away. However, a competitive marketplace does benefit consumers,
particularly in the long run. With the Fair Competition division on the lookout
for anti-competitive practices and prohibiting any that may occur, grave social
and economic costs are avoided.
Anti-competitive practices such as price fixing
and abuse of a dominant market position are harmful to consumers, as it may
reduce the choices they have and inflate the prices they have to pay for goods
and services. A vibrant, competitive marketplace, on the other hand, means
consumers have more choices and are more likely to get good deals, as
competition forces companies to maintain high standards and keep prices down.