Social Democratic Front (SDF), member of parliament, Honorable Jean Michel Nintcheu has expressed reservations over the recent takeover of Guinness Cameroun by French giant, Castel group.
He has expressed fears over the legality of the said commercial transaction between the two multinationals.
In an outing, the MP wrote “On July 14, 2022, in a press release made public, we were informed that the Castel group was now taking control of DIAGEO(global leader in beverage alcohol) If we cannot oppose the growth of multinationals based in our country, it would still be necessary that their acts of merger comply not only with the legislation in force in our country but also in the CEMAC Zone, in Africa, and above all that these acts are not contrary to business ethics as recognized in their countries”.
Highlighting that such a merger might not be in the best interest of the end consumer, the MP went on to question if this will not give a monopoly to one company:
“This operation will now give the Castel group, through its subsidiary SABC, a virtual monopoly in the brewing sector in our country. Since SABC and DIAGEO represent 80% of the market share”.
In order to ensure that this does not happen contrary to the laws of Cameroon, CEMAC, and Africa, the MP went on to add that he had called for an investigation:
“This is why I call on the National Competition Commission to carry out the necessary investigations to ensure that the operation in question respects the rules of healthy and free competition beneficial to the end consumer and at the very least that it is not an abuse of a dominant position and an anti-competitive business practice”.
“In this press release, it is mentioned that “subject to the necessary competition applications, the sale should be finalized no later than… 2022″. If such a mention is included, it is because the co-contractors are aware that there is a problem with commercial ethics related to practices in this area” He continued.
While insisting that there should be thorough investigations, the Douala MP pointed out that it might be connected to the rumored visit of the French president:
“I, therefore, call on the CEMAC commission responsible for competition issues to examine the conditions for carrying out this takeover operation and to ensure that the interests of competing companies will not ultimately be harmed. A correspondence will be sent by me to these various authorities. Finally, I find it curious that this takeover comes at a time when, although not confirmed, the media announce the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron in the coming days”.
This would not be the first time such a deal is brokered with a french company with the complicity of their president. According to Hon Nincheu, the same happened during the rule of one of Macron’s predecessors:
‘ I remember that after the visit of his predecessor, François Hollande, who came to Cameroon with an emissary from the Bolloré group, when everything was practically complete to break with DIT, a subsidiary of the Bollore group, there was subsequently a spectacular rebound on this folder” He concluded.
By Amina Hilda
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