The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has fined multidisciplinary coding school Moringa Sh500,000 after it implemented a merger without notifying and getting the necessary approvals from the regulator.
The Nairobi-headquartered technical and professional training school and which has a presence in Hong Kong, Pakistan and Ghana was initially owned by Audrey Patricia Cheng and Frank Collins Tamre.
Each had a 50 percent shareholding. The change of ownership, from joint to sole, happened after Ms Cheng acquired Mr Tamre’s stake in 2016.
Moringa School voluntarily informed the regulator of the 2016 deal and how the merger was implemented without the requisite regulatory approval.
“The Authority engaged the two parties and, upon interrogating the relevant documentation, confirmed that the merger had been implemented without approval,” CAK said in a statement.
“The parties acknowledged having contravened the law. It is worth noting that administrative penalties take into account deterrence and proportionality of the infringement.”
The law prohibits persons, individually or jointly from implement a proposed merger without seeking approval of CAK.
Anyone contravening this law is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding Sh10 million, or both.
Moringa joins a growing list of firm that have been penalised by CAK for contravening the competition law and misleading customers.
Late last year, the regulator penalised Artcaffe Coffee and Bakery Limited for making misleading presentations of items on the menu to its customers. Artcaffe paid a Sh79,097 fine.
It also fined Harambee Sacco, one of the biggest societies in Kenya by client deposits, and Faulu Microfinance Bank Sh38,379 and Sh150,000 respectively for contravening sections of the Competition Act that seek to protect consumers from misleading representations and engaging in unreasonable conduct to secure or maintain customers.