How it started
For many years Tanzania's economy was centrally planned, until mid 1980s, during which, the country embarked on a programme of trade liberalization, which was followed by the policy of privatizing state owned enterprises from 1992. Privatization policy supported private ownership and freer markets. In the late 1990s the Government began concerted efforts to create a viable regulatory framework in the country. These efforts culminated into the enactment of the Fair Competition Act of 2003.
Overview of FCC Mandate
The FCC makes necessary interventions to ensure that competition is allowed to regulate the competitive market. It also intervenes to prevents significant market dominance, price fixing and extortion of monopoly rent to the detriment of the consumer, market instability.
Through the powers conferred upon it by the FCA, the FCC deals with all issues of anti-competitive conduct, abuse of dominance and has provision for curtailing mergers and acquisitions if outcome is likely to create dominance in the market or lead to uncompetitive behavior. It also carries the consumer protection regime administered by a department at arms length with the Commission. The adjudications of consumer related cases is done in the normal courts.
The FCC is given powers to gather information, to conduct investigations and to impose sanctions for violations of the law.
In addition to implementing the FCA, FCC is also charged with the responsibility of enforcing the Merchandise Marks Act of 1963, which is the legal instrument for fighting counterfeits.
The competition law co-exists with the sector specific regulatory framework. The regulatory framework is governed by the following Acts;
1) The Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority Act, 2001 (EWURA Act);
2) The Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Act, 2001 (SUMATRA Act);
3) Tanzania Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority Act, 2003 (TCAA Act);
4) The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority Act, 2003 (TCRA Act).