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Competition Law in the UAE: A Strategic Approach for Businesses

Competition law in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is designed to foster healthy market competition, safeguard consumer interests, and ensure economic efficiency. At Mohamed Eid Alsuwaidi Advocates & Legal Consultants, our expert legal team understands the nuances of commercial transactions and provides adept counsel to guide businesses through the intricate legal landscape.

 Understanding UAE’s Competition Law

The UAE Competition Law, established by Federal Law 4/2012, sets the framework for fair market practices, aligning with the principles of economic freedom. Enforced since February 23, 2013, this law introduced critical concepts like dominant position and economic concentration.

Key Provisions of the Competition Law

Purpose and Scope: The law aims to maintain a competitive environment, promote efficiency, and ensure market autonomy. It governs all economic activities within and outside the UAE that impact competition within the country.

Exclusions: The law doesn’t apply to certain establishments, including those outlined in the appendix, government activities, and SMEs.

Anti-Competitive Practices: This encompasses restrictive agreements and abuse of dominant positions. Companies seeking exemptions from these practices must notify the competent authorities in advance.

Mergers and Acquisitions: The law mandates prior approval from the Ministry for mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations that could distort market competition.

Sanctions: Companies found in violation of competition law may face sanctions ranging from 500,000 to 5 million AED, as per Article 16.

Complaints and Enforcement: The Ministry of Economy and the Competition Department handle complaints and claims related to competition law. The law also grants courts the authority to temporarily close non-compliant establishments.

Implications for Businesses

Companies operating in the UAE must adapt their transaction structures to comply with the potential extraterritorial scope of the law. While recent regulations provide clarity on exemptions and authorization procedures, there are still areas that require further elucidation

Seek Expert Guidance

For businesses navigating UAE’s dynamic competition law landscape, seeking expert legal counsel is essential. At Mohamed Eid Alsuwaidi Advocates & Legal Consultants, we offer a depth of experience in competition law matters. Request a free consultation today to ensure your business thrives within the bounds of UAE’s competition regulations.

[1] Source: Stalawfirm

[2] Source: Lexology

[3] Source: Afridi & Angel

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