Competition Law dialogue with Wet Market Vendors
A fair competitive market will provide businesses, regardless of scale, with more opportunities to grow. Awareness and compliance of the Competition Order by businesses are instrumental in achieving a fair market which can benefit businesses in the long run and enhance consumer welfare. This was highlighted by the Executive Secretariat of the Competition Commission Brunei Darussalam (CCBD) in a recent dialogue with vendors from the wet market.
The Executive Secretariat of the CCBD commended on the attendance of the vendors and highlighted the importance to create awareness on the Competition Order as vendors in the market are providing essential services to the community.
The dialogue session was conducted with the objective to share on the importance and benefits of complying to the Competition Order and the key prohibited conducts currently being enforced, specifically agreements made by two or more businesses to fix price, limit supply, collude tender or divide market. These anti-competitive agreements (ACA) are per se illegal conducts under the Section 11, Competition Order, 2015, which has been enforced since 1 January 2020.
Through prohibiting anti-competitive conducts, the objective of the Competition law is to encourage businesses, including the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to compete fairly by setting price independently, attracting customers by offering quality and innovative goods and services.
The session also discussed on the mechanism in detecting cartels. Under Section 44, the Competition Order provides for Leniency Programme, which gives incentive for businesses that partake in a cartel activity to come forward to disclose information about the prohibited conducts and provide full cooperation to the CCBD, in exchange for up to a full immunity from the penalty. More information on the Competition Order and Leniency Programme is available in the CCBD's website at www.ccbd.gov.bn.
The presentation on Competition Order was followed by an interactive discussion covering matters related to business conducts observed in the domestic market and policies to encourage competition in the marketplace.
The session is part of the CCBD's core function to promote a competitive business environment in Brunei Darussalam through an effective competition regime. The Executive Secretariat of CCBD can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 2233344 extension 230, 341 or 343 for general inquiries and request for briefings on the Competition Order.