Frequently Asked Questions
These questions and answers aim to provide an overview above the Competition and Antimonopoly law and its implementation in the State of Qatar. However, the FAQ is neither considered a legal interpretation of the law nor an alternative to it.
1-What is the objective of the competition and antimonopoly law?
Law number (19) issued in 2006 aims to provide a mechanism of work to fight monopoly practices. It also aims to promote fair economic competition in the context of transparent markets that enable businesses to compete freely and consumers to benefit from such competition. In this regard, the Competition and Antimonopoly law in Qatar outlines the principles of economic competition in Qatar
2- Where is the Competition and Antimonopoly law applicable?
The law applies to all activities (undertaken by factories, institutions and companies) across all economic sectors (industrial, commercial, agricultural or services) in violation of fair competition regulations and influence the market.
3-Does the law apply to foreign companies that have no representative offices in Qatar?
The law applies to all violations that influence the local market, including violations committed by institutions based outside Qatar.
4-Are there any exemptions to the law?
The law exempts state actions and institutions under the supervision of the State. The minister has also the right to exempt agreements that promote consumers’ welfare.
5- Who is responsible for enforcing the law?
The Competition Protection and Antimonopoly Committee is responsible for enforcing the law. Article (7) of the law stipulates the formation of the committee whose members include financial, legal and economic experts as well as the representatives of the ministry and concerned parties. The committee was formed in accordance with decision (105) issued in 2008. The committee conducts its work with the help of the Competition Protection department. Amiri decree number (20) issued in 2014 in relation to the organizational structure of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce outlines the area of competence of the department.
6- What is the area of competence (jurisdiction) of the Competition protection and Antimonopoly committee?
Article 8 of the law defines the jurisdiction of the committee as follows:
Preparing a database that includes comprehensive information of economic activity in Qatar and updating it regularly to facilitate the work of the committee in promoting fair competition and preventing monopoly practices. Conducting the necessary research. Receiving complaints regarding violations of law (19), verifying their authenticity and taking the appropriate measures. Coordinating with counterparts in other countries over issues of common interest. Issuing a regular newsletter that includes the decisions, recommendations and measures taken by the committee. Preparing an annual report to be submitted to the Minister of Economy and Commerce and referred to the Council of Ministers about the committee’s activities, recommendations and future plans. Giving advice over draft laws and proposals concerning economic competition and antimonopoly practices
7- Which practices are banned under the Competition Protection law?
The law bans all agreements that aim to limit competition or result in monopolies. Institutions that have a dominant position in the market are also prohibited from abusing this position. It is important to note that institutions are allowed to have a dominant position but are not entitled to abuse this position.
8- What are the penalties for violating the law?
The law stipulates the following penalties for violating its provisions:
Any person who commits a violation of the provisions of this law is fined an amount not less than a hundred thousand rial and not exceeding five million rial. In all cases, the court shall confiscate all profits resulting from activities in violation of the provisions of this law. (Article 17)
9-What are the measures taken by the committee when a violation is proven?
When a violation is proven, the committee shall issue a warning to the person responsible for committing the violation, requiring him to comply with the law immediately or within a certain deadline.
If the person responsible for committing the violation fails to comply with the law within the appointed deadline, the committee refers the case to the Minister of the Economy and Commerce, who in turns refers the case to the judiciary.
10-Should institutions planning mergers and acquisitions inform the committee of their intent?
Institutions that are planning to acquire assets or intellectual property rights or shares or undergo mergers and acquisitions that result in a dominant market position should inform the committee of their decision in writing. The law ensures the quick processing of applications in less than 90 days following their submission to the committee. If the committee fails to process the application within a 90-day deadline, the application is deemed approved.
11-How is the law enforced?
The law is enforced by the committee in two ways:
The committee takes the initiative to investigate any violations of the provisions of the law
The committee takes the appropriate measures to investigate incoming complaints, complaints can be submitted to the committee who can be reached on the following address:
The Competition Protection and Antimonopoly Committee, Ministry of Economy and Commerce Building, 1968 Doha.