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The General Authority for Competition (GAC) will soon defame the four companies. Image Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: Four Saudi Arabia-based companies have been slapped with fines amounting to 53 million riyals (Dh51.9 million) for violating the competition law, local media reported on Wednesday.

The General Authority for Competition (GAC) will soon defame the four companies following verdicts issued against them by the Board of Grievances, later upheld by the Administrative Court of Appeal in Riyadh.

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Two soft drinks companies will each pay a fine of 20 million riyals. A fine of 10 million riyals was imposed on an IT company for using unjustifiable ways to prevent other competitors from entering the market. The authority also imposed 3 million riyals against a company operating in the gas sector for its undesirable conduct that led a competitor to exit from the market.

This brings the number of companies defamed to eight.

The Board of Grievances issued 12 rulings in 2019. These judgments were later upheld by the Court of Appeal after GAC filed complaints against several companies for breaking the competition law in the Kingdom. The remaining four companies will be defamed later for violating lawful competition.

Meanwhile, the Committee for Review and Adjudication of Competition Law Violations had already taken eight other decisions against violators of competition rules.

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The committee’s decisions are preliminary and can be challenged before the Administrative Court.

GAC is an independent authority in charge of supervising the implementation of the competition law that aims to protect and encourage fair competition and combat monopolistic practices that affect lawful competition.

It operates through the competition law and its Executive Regulations to maintain the competitive environment in the business sector within a framework of justice and transparency in the local market, which, in turn, will enable firms to compete with freely and fairly and provide consumers with the opportunity to reap the desired benefits of fair competition.