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How to: Your guide to Navigate through Dubai’s New Competition Law

Update on UAE’s Competition Law

On December 29, 2023, the Dubai Court implemented a new competition law, introducing a transformative merger control regime. Under this regime, transactions can be suspended for up to 90 days pending review, and non-compliance could result in fines. Understanding these changes is crucial for businesses to navigate the competitive landscape and prevent unfair practices.

The underlying message of this ruling is clear: a commitment to fostering fair markets without the abuse of power. In this article, we’ll delve into the key changes brought about by the new law and elaborating their implications for you.

The updated competition law replaces the outdated Federal Decree-Law No.4 of 2012, signaling a comprehensive revision of the UAE’s competition regulatory framework. This update has fortified regulations to keep pace with evolving market dynamics while aligning the UAE with international standards. By modernizing its competition regulatory framework, the UAE aims to bolster its competitiveness, attract investments, and stimulate economic growth.

Key Changes in the New Law:

  • Greater emphasis on consumer interests: The updated regulation places a greater emphasis is placed on consumer interests, incorporating digital marketplaces, and broadening the scope of economic activities.
  • Introduction of new Anti-Competitive Practices: The new law introduces anti-competitive practices independent of the market dominance of a business, such as the abuse of economic dependency and prohibition of predatory pricing to exclude competitors. Moreover, changes have been made to define and penalize abuse of dominant positions, including control over production, markets, or technological development.
  • Change in Exemptions: Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are no longer automatically exempted from competition law, and block exemptions covering specific categories of contracts and practices have been introduced.
  • New Merger Control Process: Economic concentration thresholds now depend on total annual sales values rather than just market share. Additionally, interested parties can submit data and file objections to economic concentration applications, and applications must be filed at least ninety (90) days before completion.
  • Changes in Fines and Penalties: Adjustments have been made to penalties for anti-competitive practices, including fines based on annual total sales.

The implementation of the new law marks a crucial moment in the UAE’s competition landscape. Businesses must prioritize compliance and risk mitigation in this evolving regulatory environment to navigate the competitive market successfully.

At Lawbridge, we understand the complexities and nuances of these regulatory changes. As experienced lawyers and experts in the field, we are equipped to handle all aspects of the new competition law. Whether you need assistance understanding the the regulations, developing compliance strategies, or navigating enforcement actions, our team is here to provide expert guidance and support tailored to your specific needs. You can rely on us to offer comprehensive legal advice and representation to help you effectively address any issues that may arise in relation to the new law.

Your success and compliance are our top priorities, and we are committed to helping you navigate these changes with confidence and peace of mind. Book your free consultation here today!



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