Protection of Confidential Information and The Competition Authorities – A South African Perspective
Nordely Wright, Product Developer- Plant and Soil Health, Oro Agri SA (Pty) Ltd., South Africa
The management of confidential information is key to maintain active competition between companies in the same market. Protocols for the management of confidential information need to be implemented by within company procedures in addition to the usual contractual undertakings. Protection of confidential information during dealings with competition authorities need to have a similar focussed approach. As a consequence of investigations and due procedure, sensitive and confidential information is disclosed to the competition authorities. Recent changes to the Competition Act may have implications for foreign investment in South Africa, as the risk of exposure of confidential information has now changed. It is incumbent on the holder of the confidential information to take the required steps to ensure confidential information is protected, even before any interaction with the competition authorities. This paper deals with the protection given to confidential information under the Act, and the circumstances in which access to a company’s confidential information may be exposed to a competitor.
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