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In brief

The updated Competition Guidelines are as follows:

  1. CCCS Guidelines on Market Definition
  2. CCCS Guidelines on the Major Competition Provisions
  3. CCCS Guidelines on the Section 34 Prohibition
  4. CCCS Guidelines on the Section 47 Prohibition
  5. CCCS Guidelines on the Substantive Assessment of Mergers
  6. CCCS Guidelines on Merger Procedures
  7. CCCS Guidelines on Directions and Remedies
  8. CCCS Guidelines on the Appropriate Amount of Penalty in Competition Cases
  9. CCCS Guidelines on the Treatment of Intellectual Property Rights

These Competition Guidelines outline how the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore’s (CCCS) analytical and procedural framework for administering the Competition Act 2004 (“Act“).

Businesses should conduct a review of their existing business operations in Singapore to ensure that they are in line with these Competition Guidelines.


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As previously reported, the CCCS carried out public consultation from 10 September 2020 to 8 October 2020 on its proposed amendments to six Competition Guidelines (CCCS Guidelines on Market Definition, CCCS Guidelines on the Section 47 Prohibition, CCCS Guidelines on the Substantive Assessment of Mergers, CCCS Guidelines on Merger Procedures, CCCS Guidelines on Enforcement, and CCCS Guidelines on the Treatment of Intellectual Property Rights). It also carried out public consultation from 16 July 2021 to 5 August 2021 on its proposed amendments to the Guidelines on the Appropriate Amount of Penalty in Competition Cases.

A summary of the key amendments proposed are set out in the table below.

GuidelineSummary of key amendments
a) CCCS Guidelines on Market DefinitionClarifications on issues related to market definition in the digital sector, e.g., network effects, multi-sided digital platforms
b) CCCS Guidelines on the Major Competition ProvisionsConsequential amendments made to reflect changes made to other Competition Guidelines
c) CCCS Guidelines on the Section 34 ProhibitionConsequential amendments made to reflect changes made to other Competition Guidelines
d) CCCS Guidelines on the Section 47 Prohibition;Clarifications on issues related to assessment of market power and types of abusive conduct in the digital sector
e) CCCS Guidelines on the Substantive Assessment of MergersClarifications on how the CCCS will assess non-coordinated effects where innovation is an important feature of competition; conglomerate mergers; and proprietary rights/data as barriers to entry or expansion
f) CCCS Guidelines on Merger ProceduresClarifications on the process of merger filing notifications and to reflect current merger filing practices of the CCCS
g) CCCS Guidelines on Directions and RemediesGive effect to the legislative amendments to the Act relating to commitments and remedies and reflect the CCCS’s practices on procedural matters concerning commitments and remedies (previously known as the CCCS Guidelines on Enforcement)
h) CCCS Guidelines on the Appropriate Amount of Penalty in Competition CasesClarifications on the list of mitigating factors that the CCCS considers when calculating financial penalties in relation to section 34 prohibition infringement
i) CCCS Guidelines on the Treatment of Intellectual Property RightsClarifications on the relationship between intellectual property law and competition law, particularly on how the CCCS will assess Standard Essential Patents and licensing on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory Terms; Technology (Patent) Pool; IPRs and the Section 47 Prohibition, e.g., refusal of access to data; IP licensing and the Section 34 Prohibition, e.g., licensing agreements between competitors and non-competitors

The changes were guided and informed by the following:

  1. Responses from the public consultation exercises;
  2. Amendments made to the Act in 2018;
  3. Findings and recommendations from the CCCS’s e-Commerce Platform Market Study
  4. The CCCS’s experience in administering the Act since the Guidelines were revised in December 2016
  5. International best practices

For further information and to discuss what this development might mean for you and how it might affect you, please get in touch with your usual Baker Mckenzie contact.

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Author

Ken Chia is a member of the Firm’s IP Tech, International Commercial & Trade and Competition Practice Groups. He is regularly ranked as a leading TMT and competition lawyer by top legal directories, including Chambers Asia Pacific and Legal 500 Asia Pacific. Ken is an IAPP Certified International Privacy Professional (FIP, CIPP(A), CIPT, CIPM) and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.

Author

Hari is a principal in the Competition & Antitrust Practice Group at Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow. His practice covers competition law and regulation-related advisory work in Singapore and the Southeast Asia region. Hari was the Director of the Enforcement Division at the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore ("CCCS"), where he supervised the CCCS’s Intelligence Unit and IT Forensics Taskforce, in addition to the supervision of case teams on various investigations, mergers and notifications. He was also responsible for managing leniency applications made to the CCCS, overseeing the secret complainant and reward schemes, planning and executing dawn raids, and recording investigative statements of persons under investigations. Hari led teams involved in defending appeals brought against the CCCS’s decisions before the Competition Appeals Board. Prior to joining the Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow, Hari completed stints in private practice and as a Justices' Law Clerk with the Singapore Legal Service.

Author

Jordan Tong is an associate in Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow Singapore office.

Author

Lip Hang Poh is a Competition Economist in Baker McKenzie's Singapore office.

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