30 May 2024

Suruhanjaya Persaingan v Tribunal Rayuan Persaingan & Ors [2024] MLJU 777

On 15 April 2024, the Malaysia High Court in Suruhanjaya Persaingan v Tribunal Rayuan Persaingan & Ors dismissed the Malaysia Competition Commission’s (“MyCC”) leave application for judicial review on the ground that the application was ultra vires, unlawful, and untenable.

The MyCC sought, among other things, a declaration that the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s (“CAT”) order setting aside the MyCC’s final decision against the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (“PIAM”) was null and void.

By way of background, on 14 September 2020, the MyCC found that PIAM and its members had entered into an alleged anti-competitive agreement to fix (a) parts trade discount for six vehicle makes, i.e., Proton, Perodua, Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Naza, and (b) the hourly labour rate for PIAM Approved Repairer Scheme workshops. PIAM and its members then appealed against the MyCC’s decision to the CAT. On 2 September 2022, the CAT allowed the appeal and set aside the MyCC’s decision.

The MyCC argued, inter alia, that it had a real and genuine interest in the subject matter and that it was adversely affected by the CAT’s decision. The High Court referred to the Court of Appeal case of Malaysian Airline System Berhad v Competition Commission & another appeal [2022] 1 CLJ 856 which decreed that the MyCC, a quasi-judicial body, cannot challenge or review the decision of its own appellate body and consequently cannot be “adversely affected”. Once the MyCC has issued a final decision, it no longer has a “personal” interest in the proceedings.