Does the Saudi Competition Law Guarantee Protection to Fair Competition? A Critical Assessment.

Alotaibi, Musaed (2011) Does the Saudi Competition Law Guarantee Protection to Fair Competition? A Critical Assessment. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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This research aims to investigate the Saudi Competition Law (2004) and its regulations and rules. It investigates whether the Saudi Competition Law guarantees protection for fair competition. . It looks into the defects in the Saudi Competition Law and its enforcement. The research also explores reforms needed to improve the Saudi Competition Law and how such reforms can be achieved. The study employs two broad approaches to answer the research questions: the black letter and socio-legal models; and two particular methods (as well as analysis of legal material and existing related literature), i.e, interviews, and two case studies in communications and civil aviation sectors.
The findings show a conflict between the principles underlying Competition Law and currently implemented government policy. Barriers to entry, public and wholly-owned state companies’ immunity, the government’s privatisation policy, and the government role in the market contradict the general principles of the competition law. There is evidence of monopolistic practices, a lack of neutrality, and insufficient implementation of the law against government-owned companies. There also seems to be jurisdictional conflicts between the Council of Competition Protection (CCP) and authorities with similar functions. Critical assessment of the Saudi Competition Law revealed a number of problems in four areas: anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position, mergers, and enforcement. Examining several cases showed some deficiencies in enforcement. The study suggests some recommendations for policy reform and modernisation of the Law and its regulations.
The Shariah Law adopted general rules for regulating competition issues. It prohibits two main practices: monopoly and damage.
Since this study is the first to address competition law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is hoped that the research findings and outcomes will add to knowledge in this field, enabling greater understanding and leading to better application of the Saudi Competition Law, and thus be of benefit to both law researchers and to practitioners, investors (domestic and foreign), and consumers. This study is hoped to provide a framework for the countries of the Middle East, particularly the Arab countries, which are seeking to move toward more competitive markets, whether they have already adopted or are planning to adopt competition law.

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