Ryan Hawthorne and Genna Robb were briefed by Vani Chetty Competition Law to provide economic expert services in the merger involving Nedbank, RMHP and DiverCity. The Competition Commission had recommended the approval of the merger only subject to onerous conditions. The team prepared an expert report dealing with the theory of harm put forward by the Competition Commission which related to potential anti-competitive effects arising from information exchange and cross-directorships. The merger was approved by the Competition Tribunal without conditions.
Acacia Economics has been appointed to assist ICASA in its market inquiry into mobile broadband in South Africa.
Acacia Economics assisted in the preparation of a merger filing in the food sector. The merger was approved without conditions.
Acacia Economics provided advice to Internet Solutions in respect of its submission to the Competition Commission’s data market inquiry.
Simon Roberts and Ryan Hawthorne provided expert evidence in relation to High Court proceedings concerning the Strategic Fuel Fund, including in respect of appropriate interest rates applicable in damages claims.
We assisted a fixed line provider in engaging with ICASA around its recent call termination market review.
Acacia Economics provided economic advice to a stakeholder in the healthcare sector around the impact of changes to the Medicines and Related Substances Act on competition in the optometry and audiology industries.
Economic experts for the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa in relation to the Vodacom/Neotel merger, 2015
Acacia Economics provided expert advice to ICASA in relation to the proposed merger between Vodacom and Neotel. The Competition Commisison had raised concerns that the merger would lead to a concentration of spectrum in the hands of Vodacom, which could further entrench its dominant position. Competing operators MTN, Cell C and Telkom intervened in the matter, as well as ICASA and the Ministers for Telecommunications and Postal Services and Economic Development. All were concerned that Vodacom's market power and first-mover advantage would be strengthened by the acquisition of Neotel's spectrum, a vital input for the development of a high speed LTE network. Other operators were constrained in the ability to access more spectrum, as additional spectrum was still to be assigned to mobile operators by ICASA and it was unclear when this would take place. Acacia Economics prepared an expert report which analysed the likely competition implications of the transaction. The merger was abandoned by the parties before a Tribunal hearing on the matter was held.