CCPC Fines Levy Mwanawasa Medical University, Red Sea Import and Export Ltd, Prav Holdings Ltd and Jimuceci Enterprises Limited
On 9th August 2022 the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) Board of Commissioners at its 57th Board of Commissioners meeting for the adjudication of cases, deliberated on 41 consumer protection cases and 9 competition cases.
One of the cases involved Levy Mwanawasa Medical University which was fined 0.5% of its annual turnover for engaging in unfair trading practices. Investigations by the Commission revealed that Levy Mwanawasa Medical University had failed to award degrees to BSc Clinical Science students of the period 2016 to 2019 despite them successfully completing the programme. The CCPC established that Levy Mwanawasa Medical University did not award the students a BSc Science in Clinical Sciences degree within a reasonable period around the agreed time.
The Board of Commissioners found that the conduct by Levy Mwanawasa Medical University was in contravention of Section 49(5) of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (“the Act”) as they had failed to deliver a service within a reasonable period around the agreed time. The Board of Commissioners has also directed Levy Mwanawasa Medical University to expedite the awarding of the degrees to the students in accordance with Section 49(7) of the Act.
In addition, the Board of Commissioners has fined distributors namely Red Sea Import and Export Ltd, Prav Holdings Ltd and Jimuceci Enterprises Limited 4%, 3% and 3% of their annual turnovers respectively for engaging in restrictive business practices. This followed an investigation which revealed that the three were tying and bundling low demand clear beer products with high demand clear beer products. The practice of tying products disadvantages Small and Medium Enterprises (“SMEs”) financially as their working capital is reduced by 50% i.e they are forced to purchase products they would otherwise not have purchased and incur the losses of low demand products.
Consumers/traders wanting to purchase high demand beer products were compelled to buy low demand beer products, a conduct which was found to be in violation of Section 16(1); Section 16(2)(d) as read together with Section 15 of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (“the Act”). The Board has since directed the three to cease the practice of tying products.
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