SINGAPORE: The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) has revised its anti-competition guidelines for the first time since issuing them in 2007, it announced on Tuesday (Nov 1).
The revised guidelines, which were made after a public consultation, take into account international best practices. They will make it easier for businesses, consumers and other stakeholders to understand how CCS will administer and enforce the Competition Act, the competition watchdog said in a press release.
One of the key amendments is that financial penalties will be calculated based on the turnover for the financial year before the last date of the offences, rather than using the turnover for the financial year preceding the date of CCS’ decisions.
This would provide greater certainty to businesses under investigation, as the relevant financial year will no longer depend on when CCS issues its decision and the quantum of the financial penalty would also be more proportionate to the revenue of the parties involved when they engaged in the anti-competitive conduct, CCS added.
In addition, CCS introduced a new "fast track procedure", which allows businesses under investigation to enter into an agreement with the commission to receive a reduced financial penalty, if they acknowledge their participation in anti-competitive activity early. This is expected to shorten the time needed for CCS to issue decisions in some cases, increasing its efficiency, it said.
The revised guidelines also clarify aspects of the existing Competition Act, such as the factors considered in assessing a merger and the definition of a collective entity.
CCS said public feedback has been largely supportive of the changes. It received a total of 14 submissions from law firms, the business community, academia, professional consultancies, bar associations, Government departments and members of the public.
Both the revised guidelines the fast track procedure will take effect from Dec 1 to "give businesses and other stakeholders time to familiarise themselves with the revised guidelines", CCS said.
More details of the revised guidelines and the public consultation on the proposed changes can be found on CCS' website.