The Competition Council issued a decision imposing a financial penalty of Dh3 million on the Accounting Experts Authority for resorting to anti-competitive practices.
A statement to the council indicated that “in compliance with the provisions of article 33 of Law No. 12-104 related to freedom of prices and competition, the Competition Council held two sessions on July 7 and 28, 2022, dedicated to studying and deliberating on the referral related to accountants, and in compliance with the requirements of article 39 of this law, the Council issued a decision under number 80 / s / 2022, according to which a financial penalty of three million dirhams (3,000,000 dirhams) on the Authority of Accounting Experts.
The communication highlighted that this decision was issued due to the violation by the authority of “the requirements of article 6 of Law No. 12-104, which prohibits in particular all express or tacit agreements, whatever their form and for any reason, when its purpose or may have the result of preventing or limiting competition, or distorting its operation in a market, especially when its purpose is to prevent the formation of prices through free market mechanisms by manufacturing their rise or fall, as well as limit access to the market or the free exercise of competition
The source recorded that after completing the search and investigation operations carried out on the matter, the Board concluded that the Accounting Experts Authority resorted to anti-competitive practices represented in “the authority establishing an agreement among its members to determine and circulate a minimum fee, at a minimum average price of not less than five hundred dirhams (500 dirhams) for each hour of work, without calculating fees, and making it mandatory for all accountants who carry out their activities in the national market the financial, legal and contractual accounting audit. In addition to interfering in public institutions and calling them to respect the minimum price mentioned in the operations they carry out. This constitutes an obstacle to the free competition that should characterize this market, while depriving companies, especially small and medium-sized ones, of accessing accounting and financial auditing services at competitive prices.”
These practices are also represented, adds the source, in “the inclusion of many documents issued by the Accounting Experts Authority for requirements contrary to the rules of competition related to the text for setting a minimum price in an open market against free competition”. , competence that the legislator did not delegate to the authority in accordance with the requirements of the law.” No. 15.89 related to the regulation of the accounting expert profession and the establishment of the Accounting Experts Authority.
The Board also forced the authority to modify all the documents issued by it that contain anti-competitive requirements, as well as to report the content of Resolution No. 80/s/2022, within a maximum period of sixty (60) days counted from the date of your reaching this decision.
In case you delay the execution of this after the expiration of these deadlines, a threatening fine will be imposed on the Authority, set in the amount of four thousand dirhams (4,000 dirhams) for each day of delay.