City tycoon Humphrey Kariuki denied whisky import monopoly
The competition watchdog has scuttled tycoon Humphrey Kariuki’s bid to exclusively import and distribute 214 premium wine and spirit brands including Bacardi-Martini labels.
Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) said the move would have seen the billionaire’s company, WOW Beverages, amass a lot of market power and lock out rivals at the expense of customers.
The decision has halted a series of planned exclusive distribution agreements between WOW Beverages and various alcohol manufacturers, with the local firm now exposed to competition from other importers.
“The CAK has rejected an exemption application by WOW Beverages in which the firm was seeking to enter into exclusive distributorship agreements with seven international suppliers,” the regulator said in a statement.
“The Authority is of the opinion that parallel imports, through legal channels, are likely to bring more benefits to Kenyan consumers, including the enhancement of intra-brand competition which often leads to lower prices.”
SOURCE: Business Daily
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