26 February 2024

In this issue of the Competition Law Quarterly, we highlight notable antitrust developments and enforcement activity in South-east Asia in the fourth quarter of 2023, including the following:

  • Indonesia: The Indonesia Competition Commission commenced a preliminary investigation into the alleged manipulation of loan interest rates to consumers or loan recipients by members of the Indonesian Joint Funding Fintech Association, and progressed its investigation of the Google Play Billing System to the filing stage.
  • Singapore: The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (“CCCS”) issued its findings for market studies on (i) greenwashing on e-commerce websites in Singapore, and (ii) the competition landscape of the funeral services industry in Singapore. In terms of merger control, CCCS cleared the proposed acquisition by iNova Pharmaceuticals (Singapore) Pte. Limited of Mundipharma’s Consumer Healthcare Business, and consulted on the proposed acquisition by ANA Holdings Inc of Nippon Cargo Airlines Co., Ltd. CCCS also carried out unannounced inspections in the building construction sector and consulted on the proposed joint implementation of the Supplementary Retirement Scheme (“SRS”) Framework for on-boarding and management of SRS product providers.

In the same quarter, the Competition Appeal Board published its decision for dismissing the appeal by CU Water Services Pte. Ltd. against the penalty of S$308,680 imposed by CCCS for CU Water’s bid-rigging conduct which spanned close to a decade.

  • Malaysia: The Malaysia Competition Commission (“MyCC”) issued a decision in relation to the alleged infringement of section 4 of the Competition Act 2010 by five chicken feed millers (“Appellants”) that formed a price fixing cartel for poultry feed. MyCC issued financial penalties amounting to MYR415.5 million (approx. S$119.5 million) and issued directions to the Appellants. The Competition Appeal Tribunal also issued its grounds of decision on dismissing Dagang Net Technologies Sdn. Bhd.’s appeal against MyCC’s decision for a finding of an abuse of dominant position.
  • Vietnam: From October to December 2023, the National Competition Commission of Vietnam (“VCC”) cleared three merger transactions in the dairy, alcohol and chemicals industries. The Ministry of Industry and Trade also promulgated Circular 40 and its accompanying policy, which regulates the organisation and operation of VCC in respect of anti-competitive cases which cause or potentially cause competitive restraining impact, including anti-competitive agreements, abuse of a dominant position and abuse of monopoly power.

For more, please click here for an overview of notable antitrust developments in South-east Asia during the period of October to December 2023. To see if there has been any enforcement activity in your sector in the fourth quarter of 2023, please refer to the overview chart here.