The Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC) initiated an investigation on 9 May 2022 against a local law firm and a local bank, following allegations of exclusive dealings pertaining to property conveyance services.
The investigation pertains to allegations that law firm Dr Weder, Kauta & Hoveka Inc and Bank Windhoek entered into an Exclusive Service Level Agreement that appoints the former as the exclusive and sole conveyancing attorneys for properties financed through the bank.
Conveyancing is the process of transferring a legal property title from one party to another, and Conveyancing Services specialise in carrying out the legal work required for buying and selling property.
“It is alleged that this agreement requires Bank Windhoek property financing applicants to only make use of Dr Weder, Kauta & Hoveka Inc’s conveyancing services to the exclusion of other conveyancing service providers in the relevant market. The agreement and its maintained exclusivity is said to limit competition and forecloses other independent service providers in the relevant market, which is provisionally defined as the provision of conveyancing services to Bank Windhoek financed property transactions,” reads a statement from the NaCC.
The NaCC noted it has engaged all the affected parties and afforded them the opportunity to respond to the allegations.
Upon receipt of the responses to the allegations, the Commission will conduct an assessment and stemming therefrom determine the relevant cause of action.
“The alleged conduct of law firm Dr Weder, Kauta & Hoveka Inc amounts to a possible contravention of Section 23 (1) read with Section 23 (2) (b), and Sections 23 (3) (e) and 23 (3) (g); while that of Bank Windhoek amounts to a possible contravention of Section 23 (1) read with Section 23 (2) (b), and Sections 23 (3) (e) and 23 (3) (g) as well as section 26 (1) read with section 26 (2) (a), 26 (2) (b) and 26 (2) (d) of the Competition Act,” the NaCC stated.