A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction submitted to GAC by any natural or legal person against a firm violating the provisions of the Competition Law. The Law has guaranteed for each person, whether an individual or a firm, the right to file a complaint with GAC relating to any violation of the Law of Competition and its Implementing Regulations through an online application on t GAC's official website. Any complaint submitted to GAC must be in writing and must indicate the details of the complainant and include sufficient information for conducting a preliminary assessment.
The General Authority for Competition will review the complaint submitted to it and make recommendations regarding to the Board. The Board will, accordingly, issue the appropriate decision regarding the complaint according to the following:
- If the Board suspects a violation, it will order initiation of the procedures for inquiry, gathering of evidence, investigation and prosecution with regard to complaints and practices violating the provisions of the Law.
- If the Board finds that such suspicion is groundless, it will order the compliant to be closed.
If GAC finds that a particular firm/sector is suspected of having committed a violation to the Law or that it needs to enhance fair competition among those operating in such sector, then GAC will take procedures for inquiry and gathering of evidence based on internal reports stating the need of GAC to initiate studying the situation of such sector or firm.
Procedures for Complaints and Initiatives:
- In case the Board issues a decision to take the procedures for inquiry, gathering of evidence, investigation and prosecution with regard to complaints and practices violating the provisions of the Law, the suspected firm shall be notified of the Board decision whether at or prior to the time of a surprise visit by law enforcement officers.
- The Implementing Regulations of the Competition Law has obligated GAC to accept any report or complaint relating to violation of the Law, submit it to the Board and take the procedures for inquiry, gathering of evidence and investigation in order to decide on a proper procedure concerning the complaint or report, as provided for in the Competition Law: “Law enforcement officers shall accept all complaints submitted to them against violations of the provisions of the Competition Law and shall submit the same to the Council to decide thereon”.
- Upon a report of a complaint or violation, the investigated firm must permit the law enforcement officers to enter its premises during the official working hours and enable them to review and take photocopies of all hard and electronic documents and files whether confidential or otherwise. All firms must facilitate the duty of the law enforcement officers and attend to their needs, including the opening of lockers, provision of passwords, and usage of photocopiers, computers, and electricity services. Law enforcement officers must carry identification documents, and present them to the person in charge of the entity under investigation, prior to initiating their assigned investigation duties.
- After collecting the information and data on the complaint, GAC shall study all aspects of the case and submit a comprehensive report to the Board on whether to close the complaint in case it is established that no violation was committed or initiate criminal action against the firm before the Committee for Review and Adjudication of Competition Law Violations.
- In case the complaint is closed, the complainant shall be notified by an official letter of GAC decision to close the complaint.
- In case of initiating criminal action, the public prosecution representatives shall prepare the statement of claim and transmit it to the Committee for Review and Adjudication of Competition Law Violations; the case shall be heard before the Committee until it issued its ruling.
- In case a final judgment is issued in favor of the GAC, the violating firm would be named and shamed pursuant to the provisions of Article (12) of the Competition Law.