Manual Competition Law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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Implementing Regulations of Competition Law. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Council of Competition Protection. ﺔﻳﺩﻮﻌﺴﻟﺍ ﺔﻴﺑﺮﻌﻟﺍ ﺔﻜﻠﻤﳌﺍ. ﺔﺴﻓﺎﻨﻤﻟا ﺔﯾﺎﻤﺣ ﺲﻠﺠﻣ.
Table of contents

Broadly, the regulations apply to any cloud service provided to customers that are resident in Saudi Arabia or have provided an address there. Any person controlling data centres or cloud system infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, or controlling specified classified customer content, must register with the CITC. The application procedure is the same for men and women. Anti-corruption prosecution departments established: The Government of Saudi Arabia is establishing new anti-corruption departments in the public prosecutor's office, which are tasked with investigating and prosecuting corruption in the Saudi Arabia.

The new departments will report to the Attorney-General. New bankruptcy regime: Modernised bankruptcy and reorganisation procedures are now available to financially troubled debtors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The new bankruptcy law Royal Decree No. The bankruptcy procedures can be used by foreign or local natural persons performing commercial, professional or profit-seeking activities in the Kingdom, commercial and professional companies and non-Saudi natural or legal person investors with assets in the Kingdom.

Read more… The implementing regulations issued by the Cabinet under the new bankruptcy law largely govern procedural matters. Read our overview of the new regime. The regime allows lenders to take non-possessory security over a range of present and future moveable assets including receivables, bank accounts, inventory, unlisted securities , to register that security at a new Unified Register for Commercial Pledges which ensures priority and the ability to enforce using self-help remedies or traditional court-led processes.

Read our overview of the modernised regime. These regulations are likely to complement, but operate independently from, the regulations permitting Qualified Foreigner Investors QFIs to invest directly in companies listed on the Tadawul read our overview here.

The new competition law in Saudi Arabia

Like QFIs, FSIs must be established or licensed in a country that applies regulatory and supervisory measures similar to those applied by the CMA or are accepted by it. The consultation closed on 31 August The consultation closed on 29 July Key features of the draft law include special rules applicable to PSP projects, such as changes to the foreign investment regime for joint projects with the government, exemptions from some aspects of labour laws and from the government tenders and procurement law and the competition law, greater flexibility for private investors in owning real estate outside Mecca and Medina and certain other protections for private investors.


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The CMA does not currently permit Saudi Arabian listed companies to issue depositary receipts abroad for their shares. The draft regulations permit such issuances, subject to obtaining prior CMA approval. It also sets out certain requirements, including that the issuer must appoint a depositary bank that is licensed a jurisdiction satisfactory to the CMA. The consultation closed on 25 September The instructions, if issued, would facilitate dual-listings of Saudi companies. The draft rules set out the requirements for an entity to act as the auditor for the Saudi Stock Exchange Tadawul , the Saudi Securities Depository Center Edaa , certain CMA authorised persons, investment funds and listed companies.

Saudi Arabia to Implement Executive Regulations for New Competition Law on Sep. 25

The proposed regulations follow proceedings being brought by the CMA against the auditors of certain listed companies for failing to fulfil their duties in such role. The consultation closed on 12 September Important note : This publication highlights certain key developments in the laws and regulations in Saudi Arabia. The legislative process in Saudi Arabia can be opaque.

Draft legislation is generally not made publicly available nor the subject of official consultations. Timescales for enactment of legislation are not typically published. In practice, laws and regulations may come into effect without being published. Accordingly, it is difficult to anticipate the pace and scope of legislative change. Contract lawyers from Linklaters Responsibility. Our lawyers are enthusiastic, committed people who relish the challenges and opportunities that they encounter every day.

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Search for a lawyer by name or use one of the filters. Our business team members are enthusiastic, committed people who relish the challenges and opportunities that they encounter every day.

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Search for a business team member by name or use one of the filters. Back Careers. Like its predecessor, the New Law deals with many aspects of competition regulation in the Kingdom, including restrictive agreements, abuse of market dominance, and merger control. Baker Botts has a leading global competition-law practice.


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Please contact us if you would like to know more about our experience with competition issues in the Middle East, including additional insights on the new competition law that may be relevant to your industry. Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately lawyers practicing throughout a network of 14 offices around the globe.

Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy and technology sectors. Throughout our year history, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence.

For more information, please visit BakerBotts. Some key aspects of the New Law include: Reform of exemption from competition regime The New Law confirms that anti-competitive agreements in certain cases may be exempted from investigation and prosecution if they give rise to consumer benefits in terms of technical development or innovation.

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The New Law also replaces the comprehensive, unconditional exemption from the competition regime for governmental organizations and wholly-owned state companies with a conditional exemption for governmental organizations and wholly-owned state companies where they have an exclusive authorization from the Saudi Arabian government to provide commodities or services in a specific sector. Reduction in ambit of price-regulated markets The New Law expressly states that the prices of products and services shall be determined, controlled by and in accordance with those of a competitive market, except for products and services that are subject to a decision of the Council of Ministers or other legislation.

This is particularly important in regulated markets. As such, the New Law seeks, in part, to eliminate regulatory intervention in markets for products and services that are currently regulated in the Kingdom.

Antitrust and Competition Law

The New Law indicates that regulators in the Kingdom no longer will be allowed to set prices in the relevant markets without appropriate legislation or a decision issued by the Council of Ministers. The General Authority for Competition "GAC" , as regulator of the competition regime in the Kingdom, in the alternative may impose a fine not exceeding three 3 times the gains realized by the violator.

In addition, the New Law continues to support the concept of recovery of damages by injured parties of damages as a result of violations. Repeat violations committed within three 3 years of the date of determination of the first violation may be subject to a fine that is up to two 2 times the value of the first fine imposed. Historically, mergers and acquisitions were included in the definition of "economic concentration" as it appeared in the implementing regulations of the Old Law.

The New Law now defines the 'economic concentration' as mentioned above, but reportedly will provide further elaboration on this concept in the implementing regulations of the New Law. Those are not yet published, but it is expected that the GAC will publish them before the New Law becomes effective in mid-September The New Law departs from the Old Law in that it introduces revenue thresholds that will trigger the requirement to provide the GAC with prior notice of an intended merger or acquisition. The New Law therefore fully supplants the tests in the Old Law based on market share with respect to mergers and acquisitions.