The Competition Commission has issued show cause notices to eight medical institutions for alleged violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act 2010, which prohibits business undertakings from engaging in deceptive marketing practices.

The commission addressed the matter after the Medical and Dental Council issued a press release in which 22 private medical and dental colleges were named that had failed to meet the registration criteria for the academic year 2013 to 2014 and were therefore not recognised by the council or had restrictions imposed on their intake of students.

The commission conducted an inquiry into the matter which revealed that eight of the 22 institutions that the council named had misrepresented their council recognition on their websites or failed to communicate the restrictions imposed on admissions for the academic year 2013 to 2014.

In the commission's view, such practices amounted to:

  • the distribution of false and misleading information capable of harming the business interests of other undertakings; and
  • the dissemination of false and misleading information to consumers, including the distribution of information lacking a reasonable basis related to the:
    • price;
    • character;
    • method or place of production;
    • properties;
    • suitability for use; or
    • quality of goods.

Through the show cause notices, the medical institutions in question have been asked to file their written responses after which the commission will fix hearings to consider the matter further.

For further information on this topic please contact Samiya Fikree or Ferzeen Bhadha at Vellani & Vellani by telephone (+92 21 3580 1000) or email (samiya.fikree@vellani.com or ferzeen.bhadha@vellani.com). The Vellani & Vellani website can be accessed at www.vellani.com.

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