Competition Law in Lebanon.
The Competition Law is a law that was enacted in 2022 in order to promote freedom of competition and ensure fair and competitive markets in Lebanon. This law defines the rules governing competition in the country, prohibits agreements and practices that violate these rules, and combats monopolistic practices and the abuse of dominant positions in the market.
The main goal of this law is to protect the rights of consumers and promote economic efficiency, production, innovation, and technical progress, while also maintaining the quality and variety of products and services in the market. It applies to all persons engaged in economic activities, including companies, legal entities, and public sector bodies and institutions with commercial economic activities.
The Competition Law defines several key terms, including competition, the relevant market, monopoly, economic activity, and agreements. It also distinguishes between horizontal agreements, which exist between actual or potential competitors working at the same level of the production, marketing, or supply chain, and vertical agreements, which exist between non-competing persons working at different levels in the production and/or marketing chain.
The law prohibits agreements and practices that restrict or harm the freedom of competition in the relevant market, including managerial acts and economic concentrations that result in the transfer of ownership or usufruct rights of a person’s property or rights. It also prohibits monopolistic practices and the abuse of dominant positions in the market, which can lead to the distortion of competition and harm to consumers.
The Competition Law establishes the National Competition Authority, which is responsible for enforcing the provisions of this law and for promoting competition in the market. The Authority has the power to investigate alleged violations of the law, to impose fines and other sanctions, and to issue recommendations to promote competition.
This law practically ended exclusive distribution rights whereby Article 5 states that Contrary to any other text, any contractual clause granting exclusive representation rights shall not apply towards third parties even if the agent registered such right in the Commercial Register.
Every Lebanese physical person or legal entity have now the right to import any product that is subject to exclusive representation or that has an exclusive representative in Lebanon, whether for their personal use or for trade.
Overall, the Competition Law is an important law that aims to ensure fair and competitive markets in Lebanon, protect the rights of consumers, and promote economic efficiency, production, innovation, and technical progress. By enforcing the provisions of this law, the National Competition Authority plays a crucial role in promoting a healthy and competitive business environment in the country.