- BOMAID accused of discriminatory pricing
- BODEA drags BOMAID and others to CCA for alleged price fixing
- BOMAID seeks to duck under cover of society
However, the Competition and Consumer Society does not agree and say BOMAID “is a profit making entity” and is investigating BOMAID and two other reputable medical aid companies for alleged abuse of dominance.
This came to light when CCA released annual report for 2020/21 recently. In the report, CCA says Botswana’s biggest medical aid providers are being investigated for possible abuse of dominance through price fixing and discriminatory pricing.
It reveals that Ekuseleni Clinical Laboratory hauled BOMAID before CCA with allegations of abuse of its market dominance in the form of discriminatory pricing through introduction of a tariff system. According to Ekuluseni, BOMAID’s implementation of the tariff system is discriminatory against Ekuselini by paying it lower tariffs compared to other medical laboratories for similar services rendered. “The other alleged conduct relates to the discriminatory price increments that BOMAID applies to Ekusileni,” the report says.
“The allegation is that when it applies annual tariff adjustments for its service providers, BOMAID does not apply the tariff increase to the complainant. The third allegation points to the exclusive arrangement between BOMAID and Diagnofirm with regards to BOMAID Managed Care Benefit Scheme.” In another case, Botswana Dental Association (BODEA) lodged a complaint to CCA with allegations of possible abuse of dominance in the form of refusal of access to an essential facility and possible horizontal agreement through price fixing between BOMAID, Pula Medical Aid (PULA) and Botswana Public Officers Medical Aid Scheme (BPOMAS).
CCA says investigations for both cases are ongoing and will be carried forward to the next financial year. Meanwhile, in the aftermath of these developments, BOMAID has been trying to present itself as a non-profit making society upon which the Competition Act does not apply. “BOMAID made an application to the High Court on 21st January 2021 for an order declaring that it is exempt from the application of the Competition Act and that Section 31 of the Competition Act does not apply to its conduct,” the CCA report reveals. “The Authority opposed the application on the basis that BOMAID is a profit making entity.”