Source: CCBD website

The Ministry of Finance and Economy recently launched the Competition Commission of Brunei Darussalam (CCBD) website aimed to promote understanding and business compliance to entrepreneurs and the general public.

The website, www.ccbd.gov.bn, provides users’ details on key prohibitions such as Anti-Competitive Agreements, Abuse of Dominant Position, Anti-Competitive Mergers including the Competition Order, resource materials, complaint mechanisms, leniency application as well as CCBD activities.

Concurrently, four competition guidelines were introduced related to the enforcement of the Anti-Competitive Agreements or Cartels prohibition (Section 11) that began on January 1, this year.

The guidelines

The guidelines which consist of Anti-Competitive Agreements, Complaint Procedures and Extension of Transitional Period and Leniency, outline details to help businesses and the public understand how the law is interpreted and enforced in promoting business compliance.

The Anti-Competitive Agreements contain examples of agreements that may adversely affect the competition process in the marketplace and practical recommendations for business compliance.

Guidelines on Complaint Procedures, on the other hand, describe the complaint mechanisms and the process of handling complaints.

Meanwhile, the guidelines on Leniency prescribe the process and procedures for cartel members to break up a cartel in exchange for immunity from the financial penalty.

Entrepreneurs and the public can find the rules and procedures for applications relating to the extension of the transitional period under guidelines on Extension of Transitional Period.

This, however, applies to agreements made before June 1, 2019.

A person looking at the CCBD website. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

The Implementation

The CCBD of the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs under the Department of Economic Planning and Development at MoFE enforced the Competition Order to foster healthy competition in the country’s economic landscape.

This is in line and consistent with the long-term economic goal outlined in the sultanate’s Vision 2035 towards achieving a dynamic and sustainable economy.

According to the CCBD, the initiative was implemented to prohibit anti-competitive agreements also known as cartels regulated between two or more businesses involving price-fixing, market sharing, collusive tendering, supply control or bid-rigging.

“These agreements will be treated as illegal, due to their detrimental effects when businesses act together, leaving consumers with less or no choice to choose from the market.”

The development of a competitive market is consequential to create an ecosystem that encourages business opportunities, leading to consumer benefits and economic growth, the statement read.

Competition law compliance encourages business entities to act independently and free from collusion.

Herewith, businesses are to compete to win their consumers by offering the best in terms of goods, services, and prices.

Present to officiate the website and guidelines during the Customer Appreciation Day 2020 (HMP2020) was the minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and second finance minister, YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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