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Gov’t should consider Antitrust Legislation in VI – Skelton-Cline

- says companies operating in both wholesale & retail space is uncompetitive
With the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government making moves to implement consumer protection laws in the Territory, ZBVI 750am ‘Honestly Speaker’ radio host, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline is imploring the government to also look into Anti-Trust legislation. Photo: VINO/File
Antitrust laws also referred to as competition laws, ensure that fair competition exists in an open-market economy. These are laws that have evolved along with the market and regulated by governments in guarding against would-be monopolies and disruptions to the productive ebb and flow of competition around products and services. Photo: Internet Source
Antitrust laws also referred to as competition laws, ensure that fair competition exists in an open-market economy. These are laws that have evolved along with the market and regulated by governments in guarding against would-be monopolies and disruptions to the productive ebb and flow of competition around products and services. Photo: Internet Source
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI – With the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government making moves to implement consumer protection laws in the territory, commentator Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline is imploring the government to also look into Anti-Trust legislation.

Antitrust laws also referred to as competition laws, ensure that fair competition exists in an open-market economy. These are laws that have evolved along with the market and regulated by governments in guarding against would-be monopolies and disruptions to the productive ebb and flow of competition.

Levelling the playing field

Speaking on the Tuesday, July 16, 2019, edition of his radio show, Honestly Speaking, on ZBVI 780 AM, Mr Skelton-Cline implored, “A second instrument that I would like to see added to this piece of legislation [Consumer Protection Laws] as this government goes forward, is the Anti-Trust Legislation. I think that will level the playing field evermore. There are several companies around here who have made hundreds of millions of dollars off this territory,” he said.

Skelton-Cline referenced companies having exclusive rights to certain licences of everyday consumer products, including alcohol.

“They are allowed in the same market place and space to sell wholesale and retail. And the consumer can never get the better of that stick when you have the same corporations doing business in the same space as wholesaler and retailer,” he said.

Pointing out this practice as uncompetitive, he said consumers will end up suffering in the end as the market structure would be unfair.

Needed legislation

Mr Skelton-Cline in giving examples implored, “So if I have a mom and pop shop, but you have a licence to Hunts ketchup and the only way I can buy ketchup in this region, is to buy it from you, but I’m buying it from you and then have to turn around and compete with you.” 

In urging the government to seriously look into Antitrust laws he said, “I strongly believe that it is the next piece of legislation that needs to come on stream if, in fact, you’re going to make this a more fair and equitable market where the price, cost of goods and of service are driven down.”

2 Responses to “Gov’t should consider Antitrust Legislation in VI – Skelton-Cline ”

  • ABC (22/07/2019, 11:58) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Tell them Claude
  • biker (22/07/2019, 19:34) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bishop Cline needs to hire a BVI lawyer. Antitrust law is a US law phenomena and NOT an English(UK) law. Contract law in the UK is legislated by the Sale and Supply of Goods Act(1994) which provides for the protection of the seller and the buyer in all private and public transactions.


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