28 January 2022

Close scrutiny of merger deals and continued enforcement activity marked a busy year for the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (“CCCS”) in 2021. CCCS received the highest number of merger notifications in a single year since 2014. The mergers covered a broad range of industries including advisory services, aviation, financial services, marine equipment, healthcare and semiconductors. Between 2017 and 2021, more than one in every five merger reviews by CCCS have proceeded to a Phase 2 review. The trend towards stricter gatekeeping by CCCS is expected to continue for mergers during the Covid-19 environment and beyond.

In addition to merger assessments, CCCS also reviews commercial cooperation agreements in the aviation industry. Consumer protection matters are also gaining traction, with CCCS issuing an advisory on online consumer transactions and taking enforcement action on false and misleading claims.

On the policy front, CCCS published wide-ranging changes to nine guidelines following two public consultations, highlighting, among others, a strong focus on the digital era. CCCS also clarified its position on common types of business collaborations in a guidance note. Cross-border enforcement activity is expected to trend upwards, following two Memorandums of Understanding between CCCS with antitrust regulators in China and the Philippines.

Please click here to read our summary of the 2021 antitrust developments in Singapore.