The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has taken a firm stance against the recent increase in unified price-fixing on point of sale (PoS) charges imposed by the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN) Lagos chapter.
Babatunde Irukera, the executive vice chairman of FCCPC, made this announcement in a statement released on Wednesday.
While acknowledging the importance of preventing fraud and unjust prices, the consumer rights agency emphasised that fixing prices is neither an acceptable nor proven method to achieve these goals.
The commission said that price-fixing distorts the market, hinders innovation and efficiency, and ultimately fails to benefit consumers or other businesses, except for those involved in such illegal conduct.
The FCCPC’s announcement comes in response to AMMBAN’s recent decision to increase the PoS charge per transaction.
The commission explicitly restricts the scope and extent of collaboration, specifically excluding coordination related to the supply and pricing of services.
In its statement, the FCCPC called upon consumers to provide credible and useful information to aid in their investigation and enforcement efforts.
It said “The commission would impose severe penalties on cartels or any similar coordinated or collusive conduct, even at the association level. Furthermore, the FCCPC affirmed its commitment to enforcing the law to its fullest extent whenever there is sufficient evidence of prohibited conduct or arrangements, whether direct or indirect, by businesses.”
“The Commission is also opening an investigation to ensure the purported statement by AMBANN is not truly representative or erroneous. Where evidence demonstrates that the statement is factually accurate, the Commission will take appropriate regulatory steps to address the conduct accordingly,” FCCPC said.