Law No. 3 of 2005
Promulgating the Law on the
Protection of Competition and the Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices
In the name of the People
The President of the Republic,
The People's Assembly has decided the following law and we hereby promulgated it:
This Law shall apply with regards to the protection of competition and the prohibition of monopolistic practices.
The Prime Minister is the minister competent to give effect to the provisions of this Law.
The Executive Regulations of this Law shall be issued by a Prime Ministerial Decree within one month, from the date of the entry into force of this Law.
This Law shall be published in the Official Gazette, and shall enter into force after three months from the following day of the date of its publication.
This law shall be stamped by the seal of the State and executed as one of its laws.
Issued by the Presidency of the Republic on 6 Moharam, 1426 H.
(corresponding to 15 February, 2005)
The Law on the Protection of Competition and the Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices
Economic activities shall be undertaken in a manner that does not prevent, restrict or harm the freedom of competition in accordance with the provisions of the Law.
For the application of this Law, the following terms and phrases shall have the meanings indicated next to each of them:
The relevant market, in the application of the provisions of this Law, is the market that consists of two elements, namely, the relevant products and the geographic area. Relevant products are products considered to be practical and objective substitutes to each other. The geographic area means a certain geographical territory where competition conditions are homogenous while taking into consideration the potential opportunities for competition, all in accordance with the criteria set out by the Executive Regulations in a manner consistent with the objectives and provisions of this Law.
In the application of the provisions of this Law, dominance in a relevant market is the ability of a Person, holding a market share exceeding 25% of the aforementioned market, to have an effective impact on prices or on the volume of supply on it, without his competitors having the ability to limit it.
The Authority shall determine the situations of dominance according to the procedures provided for in the Executive Regulations of this Law.
The provisions of this Law shall apply to acts committed abroad should these acts result into the prevention, restriction or harm of the freedom of competition in Egypt and which constitute crimes under this Law.
Agreements or contracts between competing Persons in any relevant market are prohibited if they are intended to cause any of the following:
Agreements or contracts between a Person and any of its supplier or clients are prohibited if they are intended to restrict competition.
A Person holding a dominant position in a relevant market is prohibited from carrying out any of the following:
The Executive Regulations shall set out the conditions and procedures for implementing the provisions of this Article.
The provisions of this Law shall not apply to public utilities managed by the State.
The Authority may, upon the request of the concerned parties, exempt some or all the acts provided for in articles 6, 7 and 8 regarding public utilities that are managed by companies subject to the Private Law where this is in the public interest or for attaining benefits to the consumers that exceed the effects of restricting the freedom of competition. This shall be done in accordance with the regulations and procedures set out by the Executive Regulation of this Law.
The Cabinet of Ministers may, after taking the opinion of the Authority, issue a decree determining the selling price for one or more essential products for a specific period of time.
Any agreement concluded by the Government for the purposes of the implementation of these prices shall not be considered an anti-competitive practice.
There shall be established an authority called “The Authority for the Protection of Competition and the Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices”. The Authority shall be located in Cairo and shall have the public juristic personality. The Authority shall be affiliated to the Competent Minister and shall have, in particular, the following powers:
The Executive Regulations of this Law shall specify the notification date and data, documents attached thereto and procedures of its submission.
The Executive Regulations of this Law shall determine the procedures to be followed by the Authority to investigate and prove acts that are deemed violation of the provisions of this Law.
The Authority shall be managed by a Board of Directors the composition of which shall be formulated by virtue of a decree of the Competent Minister as follows:
The Board shall be appointed for four years which may be renewed for another term.
The Decree on the formation of the Board of Directors shall contain the remuneration of the Chairperson and Board Members.
The Board shall convene upon an invitation of its Chairperson at least once every month and whenever the necessity so requires. The meetings of the Board shall be valid with a quorum of ten members and the resolutions shall be passed with the majority of votes of its members.
A Board member shall not be eligible to take part in the deliberations or voting with regard to a case under the consideration of the Board, if he/she has an interest in it, or if he/she is a relative to any of the parties up to the fourth degree, or if such member currently represents or has represented any of the parties.
The Board may invite to its meetings specialists it wishes to seek their assistance. Such specialists shall not have a counted vote.
The Executive Regulations shall specify the competences of the Board in accordance with the provisions of this Law and the procedures for the invitation to its meetings and its operational rules.
The Authority shall have an independent budget following the model of Public Service Authorities. Any surplus in the budget shall be forwarded from one fiscal year to another. The resources of the Authority consist of the following:
The Authority shall have a full-time Executive Director whose appointment, remuneration and competences shall be decreed by the Competent Minister upon the recommendation of the Chairperson of the Authority.
The Executive Director shall represent the Authority before courts and third parties.
The Executive Director shall attend the Board meetings but shall be ineligible to vote.
The Board of Directors of the Authority shall issue regulations concerning the organization of the work in the Authority and setting out the financial and administrative rules pertaining to its employees, without being restricted by the rules and regulations applicable to State employees. Such regulations shall be decreed by the Competent Minister.
The employees of the Authority are prohibited to disclose any information, data or the sources thereof, in relation to cases falling under the scope of this law which are submitted or circulated during review, taking actions and issuing decisions in such cases.
These information and data as well as their sources shall not be used for any purposes other than those for which they were submitted.
Employees of the Authority are prohibited to work with Persons that were subject to examination or are in the process of examination on, for a period of two years from the end of their employment.
The employees of the Authority, who shall be specified by virtue of a decree issued by the Minister of Justice, in agreement with the Competent Minister and upon the recommendation of the Board, shall be granted the status of law enforcement officers in applying the provisions of this Law.
Such employees shall be entitled to review records and documents, as well as to obtain any information or data from any governmental or non-governmental authority for the purpose of examining cases considered by the Authority.
The Executive Regulations shall determine the categories of fees payable to the Authority for the services it renders. Such fees shall not exceed ten-thousand Egyptian Pounds per case.
Any Person may report to the Authority any breach of the provisions of this Law.
Upon establishing a breach of any of the provision of Articles 6, 7 and 8 of this Law, the Authority shall order the violator to readjust his position and to redress the violation forthwith or within a period of time to be specified by the Board; otherwise the agreement or contract in breach of Articles 6 and 7 of this Law will be considered void.
The Board may issue a decision to stop the prohibited practice immediately or after the lapse of the said period of time without readjustment of position or redress for violation.
The above shall apply without prejudice to the liability arising from such breaches.
Criminal lawsuits or any procedure taken therein shall not be initiated in relation to acts violating the provisions of this Law, unless a request of the Competent Minister or the person delegated by him is presented.
The Competent Minister or the person delegated by him may settle with regard to any violation, before a final judgment is rendered, in return for the payment of an amount not less than double the minimum fine and not exceeding double its maximum.
The settlement shall be considered a waiver of the criminal lawsuit filing request and shall result in the lapse of the criminal lawsuit relevant to the same case subject of suing.
Without prejudice to any more stringent penalty stipulated for in any other Law, the breach of any of the provisions of Articles 6, 7 and 8 of this Law shall be sanctioned by a fine not less than thirty-thousand Egyptian Pounds and not exceeding ten-million Egyptian Pounds.
The Court may, instead of ordering confiscation, order an alternative fine equivalent to the value of the Product subject matter of the breach.
Without prejudice to any more stringent penalty stipulated in any other Law, the breach of the provisions of Article 16 of this Law shall be sanctioned by a fine not less than ten-thousands Egyptian Pounds and not exceeding fifty-thousands Egyptian Pounds.
Final judgments of conviction regarding the actions stipulated in Article 22 of this Law shall be published in the Official Gazette and in two wide spread daily newspapers, at the convicted person's expenses.
The person responsible for the actual management of the juristic person in breach shall be subject to the same penalties stipulated for the acts committed in breach of the provisions of this Law, if it has been established that such person had actual knowledge of such breach and if his default on assuming the duties of his office as the responsible manager has contributed to the breach.
The juristic person shall be jointly liable for the payment of the fines and compensation ruled, if the breach has been committed by one of its employees, acting in the name or on behalf of the juristic person.