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August 20, 2015

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Fee increase by private schools comes under CCP scanner

ISLAMABAD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has initiated a probe into the rising fees charged by the high-profile private schools to see whether there is any anti-competitive behaviour behind this trend.
Usually, these high profile schools having strong political backing and connections increase their fees by 10 to 20 percent annually without giving any reason.According to the announcement made by the CCP here on Wednesday, the commission has initiated a probe into the possible anti-competitive behavior behind the sharp increase after concerns were raised by the general public, especially parents, that private schools increase their fees exorbitantly every year without any justification, particularly without any corresponding increase in the quality of education.
In the first phase crucial information regarding the entities involved in the business is being gathered. Information pertaining to school fee increases in the last three years has been sought from various private schools, and it is expected that CCP will soon have all the relevant information and data required to take strict action as per the Competition Act, 2010.
Through investigation the CCP will determine whether the fee raise in private schools all over the country is a result of anti-competitive practices such as cartelization, abuse of dominance, or otherwise.
It is pertinent to mention here that Section 3 of the Act that deals with abuse of dominance prohibits unreasonable increase in prices by dominant market players, while Section 4 of the Act that pertains to prohibited agreements bars collective fixing of prices by competitors.
CCP encourages the general public to further assist it in the ongoing investigation. Anyone who wishes to lodge a complaint or provide evidence of anti-competitive behaviour can contact CCP through email [email protected] or over the telephone 051-9100289. Contact details are also listed on CCP’s website www.cc.gov.pk.
CCP is

mandated by the Act to enforce the prohibitions against anti-competitive practices in all spheres of commercial and economic activity, and to protect consumers from anti-competitive behaviour. CCP is committed to enforcing the provisions of the Act in letter and spirit without fear and favour across all formal and informal sectors of the economy, the statement added.

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