Business

Competition watchdog seeks feedback on proposed changes to Act

The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the Competition Act, which aims to level the playing field among businesses and promote innovation and productivity.

"The key aims of the amendments are to provide CCS with appropriate enforcement tools in line with international best practices and to streamline existing processes," it said yesterday.

The proposed changes seek to codify the process of providing confidential advice to businesses for anticipated mergers, which already exists under the CCS Guidelines on Merger Procedures 2012; enable businesses under investigation to offer legally binding commitments to address any anti-competitive conduct involving Sections 34 and 47 of the Act; and enable the commission's evidence-gathering and investigation process to be more efficient, to minimise any potential disruption to businesses.

The commission said the proposed changes have been introduced after taking into account the commission's practical experience in enforcing the Act.

For the first proposed change, the commission noted that since 2012, businesses that are considering mergers and are concerned about whether these would infringe the Competition Act have been able to approach it for confidential advice.

The proposed change will formalise the process and provide greater assurance for businesses to consider confidential advice when assessing if a potential merger would infringe the Act.

The closing date for the submission of feedback is Jan 11. The consultation documents can be downloaded from the CCS website at www.ccs.gov.sg under the section Public Register and Consultation and the government online consultation Portal at www.reach.gov.sg

The commission welcomes responses from all sources, including government departments and people. - LEE MEIXIAN

BUSINESS & FINANCE