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FG to prosecute PoS operators for price fixing

THE Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has vowed to prosecute members of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN) over collaborative service price fixing.

In a statement, Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice Chairman of FCCPC, was reacting to what appeared to be an adamancy and insistence on a membership-wide implementation of price fixing by AMMBAN.

Irukera said in Abuja on Monday, that the prosecution would be in line with the FCCP Act 2018. He said the Commission in escalating the matter in accordance with the FCCPA had entered an Order and Notice (ONC) of the Commission to AMMBAN, executives, members and non-member PoS operators.

The Order is for the operators to cease and desist from conduct that constitutes an infringement of the law.

Irukera said that violation of the Order of the Commission attracted additional consequences apart from the N10,000,000 for corporate entities charge, and N1,000,000 and or a prison sentence of up to three months for individuals.

“The Commission issued an advisory informing and discouraging the association and Point of Sale (PoS) operators from engaging in coordinated or concerted efforts (otherwise known as price-fixing or cartel).

“The advisory is also to stop the association from acting in furtherance of any such coordinated or concerted efforts to uniformly determine, announce or implement changes in price of services they render.

“The ONC was issued by the Commission and served on AMMBAN.

“The Commission has, and is by this again publicly disseminating the ONC.

“The ONC, however, conveys the Commission’s will to enforce the law including, and up to prosecuting violators and affiliates who may otherwise be statutorily liable for the conduct.

“The impunity associated with persisting in a course of action prohibited by law, and clearly forbidden by regulators usually constitutes aggravating factors in determining penalties for illegal conduct,’’ he said.

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