- Nomination for four new commissioners in the TFTC by 31 October 2020
- Cartel investigation into commercial fire insurance rate published by industry association
The Premier must propose four new commissioners by the 31 October 2020 for the Legislative Yuan’s approval. The TFTC has been investigating an alleged price-fixing cartel in the non-life insurance industry that has been facilitated by a commercial fire insurance rate table from the Non-life Insurance Association.
This update was published on 16 October 2020 as part of our quarterly newsletter, Asia Pacific Competition Highlights. Click here to access the full report, which covers the most notable antitrust developments across 11 Asia Pacific jurisdictions.
Nomination for four new commissioners in the TFTC by 31 October 2020
The term of four out of seven commissioners in the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) will come to an end on 1 January 2021 and the Premier must propose four candidates for the slots by 31 October 2020 for the Legislative Yuan’s approval.
The leaving commissioners may serve consecutive terms as long as he or she can be proposed by the Premier and approved by the Legislative Yuan for another 4-year term (i.e., until 1 January 2025). However, the candidates’ list remains undisclosed and we expect that discussion about whom will be chosen for the roles will begin shortly. The pharmaceutical and e-commerce industries have long been the focus of anticompetitive conduct enforcement by the current commissioners. Whether the incoming commissioners may have different priorities on the enforcement areas or industries for the next four years is something worthy to watch.
Cartel investigation into commercial fire insurance rate published by industry association
The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) has been investigating a price-fixing cartel among non-life insurance industry by using a commercial fire insurance rate table published by the Non-life Insurance Association (Association). If an insurance company offers a commercial fire policy with a premium below the applicable standard of rate, such violator would be subject to fines and would be reported to the Taiwan Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), the regulator of the insurance industry.
The Association argued that the self-regulatory rate table is published and authorized by law to prevent price war among non-life insurance companies and thus, is expected to enhance consumer welfare. The Taiwan FSC also takes the stand against the TFTC supporting the use of the commercial fire insurance rate table. Considering that the insurance industry is receiving funds from the public, the FSC emphasizes that the insurance industry remains highly regulated with a mechanism in place to monitor the use of the commercial fire insurance rate table.
The investigation conducted by the TFTC is still ongoing. If the use of a commercial fire insurance rate table is deemed an illegal price-fixing by the TFTC, it is expected that the Non-life Insurance Association will appeal against the TFTC decision.