The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (Commission) has said it will commence a probe of point-of-sale vendors in Lagos over alleged price fixing.
Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
Recall that the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMAN), Lagos Chapter, announced increased service charges per transaction.
In reaction to the increment in PoS service charges, the FCCPC said its establishment law prohibits price fixing in a bid to safeguard the interests of Nigerians.
The Commission stressed that PoS operators allegedly fixing service charges are unacceptable.
The Commission urged consumers to provide useful and credible information to assist investigations and enforcement.
“The Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Act, 2018 expressly prohibits any price-fixing or agreement among undertakings (whether bilaterally or multilaterally) or by undertakings acting in consensus on the platform or under the aegis of an association to fix prices, coordinate supply, or any other commercially sensitive factors that can limit or substantially prevent competition or otherwise distort the market.
“Setting prices distorts the market, prevents innovation and efficiency, and does not redound to the benefit of consumers or other businesses except the participants in such illegal conspiracies or conduct.
The FCCPA provides stiff penalties for cartels or any similar coordinated or collusive conduct among competitors, even at association levels, and the Commission will seek to enforce the law to its fullest extent possible where there is sufficient evidence that a business has or is participating in any such prohibited conduct or arrangement either directly or indirectly.
“The Commission is also opening an investigation to ensure the purported statement by AMBANN is not truly representative or erroneous. Where evidence demonstrates that the statement is factually accurate, the Commission will take appropriate regulatory steps to address the conduct accordingly”, the Commission stated.