20 June 2024

In this issue of the Competition Law Quarterly, we highlight notable antitrust developments and enforcement activity in South-east Asia in the first quarter of 2024, including the following:

  • Indonesia: The Indonesia Competition Commission (“KPPU”) announced the completion of its study relating to education loans. The study revealed that loan businesses have set exorbitant interest rates which are significantly higher than those of bank loans. KPPU initiated an investigation after finding allegations of violations of the Indonesia Competition Law in the study.
  • Singapore: The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (“CCCS”) commenced an in-depth review of the proposed acquisition by Grab Rentals of Trans-cab. Upon completion of the review, CCCS will decide whether to issue a favourable or unfavourable decision on the proposed acquisition.

In the same quarter, CCCS granted conditional approval for a series of transactions involving Air India Limited, Singapore Airlines Ltd and Tata SIA Airlines Ltd (which operates under the brand name “Vistara”) (collectively, “Parties”). This approval followed the acceptance of commitments from the Parties, which CCCS deemed sufficient to address the competition concerns arising from the transactions. CCCS approved the transactions on 5 March 2024, subject to the Parties’ adherence to the proposed commitments.

  • Malaysia: The Malaysia Competition Commission announced its position on issues surrounding paddy and rice, highlighting that it has not initiated any investigations against any parties in the paddy and rice industry as they have yet to receive relevant information from any parties, particularly the Office of Paddy and Rice Monitoring of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.
  • Vietnam: The National Competition Commission of Vietnam (“VCC”) enhanced international cooperation through the signing of MOUs with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Japan Fair Trade Commission to strengthen cooperation and knowledge exchange to protect competition and consumers. VCC plans to do the same with the Korean Fair Trade Commission.
  • Thailand: The Trade Competition Commission of Thailand reviewed a total of 17 cases, which included 10 cases on post-merger filing; six cases on unfair trade practices, including abuse of dominant power; and one case on cartel behaviour. These cases involved parties from various industries such as e-commerce, franchise business, and banking platforms.

For more, please click here for an overview of notable antitrust developments in South-east Asia during the period of January to March 2024. To see if there has been any enforcement activity in your sector in the first quarter of 2024, please refer to the overview chart here.