Enforcement proceedingsEnforcement authorities
Which authorities are responsible for enforcement of the dominance rules and what powers of investigation do they have?
The Competition Council is the responsible enforcement authority. Investigations may be initiated following the receipt of a complaint of on the Council’s own initiative. If, on their investigation, they believe a breach of the Competition Law has occurred it will allow the firm concerned an opportunity to defend their position.Sanctions and remedies
What sanctions and remedies may the authorities impose? May individuals be fined or sanctioned?
The Competition Council may:
- require the prohibited conduct to stop, dispose of assets and take other action to remove the effects of the violation within a specific time frame; and
- impose a daily fine not less than 1,000 Saudi riyals and not more than 10,000 Saudi riyals until the violation is removed.
Sanctions for violations are determined on a case-by-case basis, which ranges between a fine not exceeding 10 per cent of the total turnover or not exceeding 10 million Saudi riyals. In the event of recurrence, the fine may be doubled. The judgment shall be published at the expense of the violator.
In all cases, the violator shall reimburse all profits achieved as a resulted of the violation.
An individual or company that suffers harm as a result of a practice prohibited by the Competition Law may file a claim for compensation with the competent court.
If the violator does not put an end to the violation after the issuance of the decision or the judgment, the Competition Council may either suspend the permitted activities of the violator or revoke its licence to carry on those activities.
Appeals against decisions of the Competition Council are to the Administrative Court.Enforcement process
Can the competition enforcers impose sanctions directly or must they petition a court or other authority?
The Competition Council is competent to impose sanctions directly.Enforcement record
What is the recent enforcement record in your jurisdiction?
There is no ‘average length of abuse of dominance proceedings’ because the length of time of an investigation will be responsive to the particular circumstances.
Information about enforcement proceedings is not made public.Contractual consequences
Where a clause in a contract involving a dominant company is inconsistent with the legislation, is the clause (or the entire contract) invalidated?
The invalidity would apply the clause, not the contract in its entirety.Private enforcement
To what extent is private enforcement possible? Does the legislation provide a basis for a court or other authority to order a dominant firm to grant access, supply goods or services, conclude a contract or invalidate a provision or contract?
The Competition Council may investigate allegations of abusive conduct that have been made by third parties.
The Islamic shari’ah is the foundation of all Saudi Arabian law, and a claim for compensation could be pursued by a third party on the basis of the harm done to that party by the illegal conduct. The claim could include an application for ancillary relief.
Saudi courts do not adhere to legal precedent.Damages
Do companies harmed by abusive practices have a claim for damages? Who adjudicates claims and how are damages calculated or assessed?
Anyone who has suffered harm as a result of an infringement of the Competition Law or Regulations may apply to the Saudi Arabian courts for compensation.Appeals
To what court may authority decisions finding an abuse be appealed?
Appeals against decisions of the Competition Council are to the Administrative Court.