A view of the Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque at the capital. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

The Competition Commission of Brunei Darussalam (CCBD) will enforce the Competition Order to prohibit anti-competitive agreements also known as cartels starting January 2020.

CCBD in a statement that anti-competitive agreements are those made between two or more businesses involving price-fixing, market sharing, supply control or bid-rigging.

Price fixing refers to a situation where businesses banded together to implement a certain set of prices that may be considered costly for firms outside of their circle to catch up, causing them to eventually leave the market.

Fixing market share means carving territories for certain businesses to dominate specific market segments – and then agreed not to compete with each other.

Controlling supply chains refers to the act of imposing restrictions on the production of goods and services for the purpose of controlling the prices, especially when they became highly demanded.

Rigging bids refers to businesses conspiring together to manipulate bids so they could be won by selected winners – for example, companies set similar costs that may be high for a tender issuer, increasing chance for certain parties to win the tender.

All of these acts are seen detrimental as it may limit market options and choices for consumers.

With the prohibition against anti-competitive agreements imposed next year, Brunei may look to implementing laws against abusing dominant positions and anti-competitive mergers next.

CCBD is a commissioning body under the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs of the Economic Planning and Development Department (JPKE). – Waqiuddin Rajak



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