Frequently Asked Questions

Top 5 Most Popular FAQs

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1. What does the section 34 prohibition cover?

Section 34 of the Act prohibits agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings or concerted practices, which have as their object or effect, the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition in Singapore. 

Price-fixing, bid-rigging, sharing markets and limiting or controlling production or investment will almost always infringe the Act as they are, by their very nature, regarded as restrictive of competition to an appreciable extent. However, these are not the only examples of anti-competitive agreements. Other examples include price recommendations, and sharing of commercially sensitive information.

2. Is there some sort of summary for the guidelines?

The CCCS Guideline on the Major Competition Provisions contains a summary of all the guidelines that CCCS has issued. You can find it on the CCCS website.

3. Why is competition important?

Competition spurs businesses to be more efficient, innovative and responsive to consumer needs. This means more effective and optimal use of resources and greater productivity gains for the economy. The benefits, brought about by a competitive market, are in turn cascaded to consumers, who will enjoy more choices, lower prices, better and more innovative products and services.

4. What is a competition compliance programme?

A compliance programme provides a formal internal framework for ensuring that businesses, i.e., the management and individual employees, comply with competition law. It may include such elements as training to raise awareness of the law, the use of checklists to ensure compliance by individual staff with company policies, recording systems to document any permitted contacts that staff have with competitors, and independent reviews of agreements, behaviour and staff to monitor ongoing compliance.

Competition compliance can be either standalone or part of a company's overall regulatory compliance programme.

5. What is the role of CCCS vis-a-vis CASE and STB under CPFTA?

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) remain the first points of contact for local consumers and tourists respectively to handle complaints. They will assist aggrieved consumers to obtain redress, and in some cases, compensation through negotiation and/or mediation. Errant retailers may enter into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) with CASE or STB, where they will agree in writing to stop the unfair practice, and in some cases, compensate affected local consumers or tourists. Errant retailers who persist in unfair trade practices will be referred to CCCS for investigation.

As the administering agency, CCCS will gather evidence against persistent errant retailers, file timely injunction applications with the courts against persistent errant retailers and enforce compliance with injunction orders issued by the courts. CCCS is a statutory board under MTI whose previous mandate was to administer the Competition Act 2004. As of 1 April 2018, CCCS took on the role of administering the CPFTA. The complementary nature of competition and consumer protection work allows CCCS to better regulate and promote well-functioning markets.