First Key Prohibition of the Competitive Order Will Be Enforced On 1st of January 2020

The Competition Commission Brunei Darussalam (CCBD) in a media release states the first key prohibition of the Competition Order, the anti-competitive agreements, also known as cartels, beginning 1 January 2020. The Anti-competitive agreements are agreements made between two or more businesses involving price fixing, market sharing, supply control or bid rigging. These agreements will be treated as per se illegal due to their detrimental effects when businesses act together, leaving consumers with less or no choice to choose from, in the market.

The objective of enforcing the Competition Order is to foster healthy competition in the economic landscape of Brunei Darussalam, consistent with the long-term economic goal of achieving a dynamic and sustainable economy. Developing a competitive market is one of the key building blocks to create an ecosystem that encourages business opportunities, leading to consumer benefits and economic growth.

The CCBD through its Executive Secretariat, the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs in the Department of Economic Planning and Development, Ministry of Finance and Economy, has been active in its preparation work towards the enforcement of the Order. This includes extensive advocacy work and developing relevant regulations and guidelines related to the first key prohibition to be enforced.

In its effort to raise awareness and nurture a competition-aware culture, more than 30 advocacy sessions have been conducted so far. These reach out to various stakeholders, including government agencies and public procurement vendors to discuss effective procurement procedures and measures to deter big rigging. In addition, business dialogues have also been held with professional bodies and trade associations to deliberate on conducts which may or may not fall within the scope of the Competition Order.

To date, three guidelines, namely, Guidelines on Anti-Competitive Agreements; Guidelines on Complaint Procedures; and Guidelines on Leniency have been finalised to provide details on how the CCBD will enforce and administer the relevant provisions under the Competition Order. The Competition Commission underscores that the key principle in competition law compliance is essentially for business entities to act independently and free from collusion. Businesses are to compete to win their consumers by offering their best, in terms of goods, services and prices.

The CCBD can be reached through its Executive Secretariat to the Competition Commission Brunei Darussalam Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs Department of Economic Planning and Development, Level 3, West Wing, Block 2A, Ong Sum Ping Road Bandar Seri Begawan, BA 1311 10 or Email: brunei.competition@jpke.gov.bn or Phone number: +673 2233344 ext 230 or 343 or 341. More information about the Competition Order can be found at www.depd.gov.bn.

Source: Radio Television Brunei