In an interesting turn of events, French Supermarket and Two Rivers Mall, linked to business magnate Chris Kirubi, want the Competition Authority of Kenya to agree to bar any competitor within the premises for a period of 7 years.
"In Clause 7.4 of the lease agreeement, the parties propose that the lessor shall not lease any part of the Centre to any hypermarket, supermarket, butcheries, green grocers or fruit or vegetable stores of permit the expansion of leased premises without the written consent of the lessee".
The lease contravenes Section 21(1), (3)(e) and 3(i) of the Competition Act. An exemption, as applied, can only be granted under Section 25(1) of the Act.
Competition Authority has invited representations to be received on or before October 7, 2017.
Cofek will swiftly and firmly oppose the application. In addition, we will Petition the National Assembly to amend the Act and deny the Competition Authority powers to negate the very reason the law was put in place.
Carrefour Supermarket is keen to become a monopoly, in a secluded place, so as to fix prices which will adversely impact on consumers who will be forced to buy from them.
The move will also cut jobs and dampen our national economic outlook. We urge the Competition Authority not to entertain the application.
Should the competition Authority pass the exemption application, Cofek will challenge the same in Court as the move amounts to discrimination of Kenyan businesses at the expense of foreign ones in clear contravention of Article 27(4) of the Constitution
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