On March 6th of the current year the new law 'On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Competition' (hereinafter – the 'Amendments') has been adopted. The Amendments have become effective earlier this week on March 26th 2013.
Please find below a summary of the main novelties proposed by the Amendments in the filed of competition protection:
- new terms such as 'direct control' and 'indirect control' are introduced by the Amendments;
- the concept of a 'group of entities' is narrowed by the Amendments. The definition of the group of persons now includes persons holding more than 50 percent of the voting shares in the charter capital of a legal entity, while the previous reading of the Law on Competition provided for a wider range of persons holding more than 25% of the voting shares or interests in the charter capital of a legal entity;
- the fundamental changes have been introduced to the process of economic concentration approval. The Amendments present the new procedure for the antimonopoly clearance of certain transactions in form of prior notification of the antimonopoly authority. As such, under the new rules, certain transactions do not need the obtainment of the approval of the antimonopoly authority but require the notification to be sent to the agency not later than 45 days after the execution of such transaction;
- the threshold of the amount of sales applicable for the antimonopoly clearance has been increased from two million up to ten million MCI. Hitting of this threshold by the market entity requires the filing for the consent of or the notification to the antimonopoly authority;
- fines for violation of the antimonopoly clearance procedures have been notably increased. Amount of the fine to be imposed for a failure to obtain the consent of the antimonopoly authority is 2,000 MCI’s as well as the head of the applicant may also be held liable for a fine in the amount of 300 MCI’s. The failure to file a notification to antimonopoly authority also leads to the same fines.
The Amendments tend to strengthen competition protection, significantly simplify and more clearly define conditions for antimonopoly clearance.