Mergermarket M&A Forum 2022 – Southeast Asia

Ms Sia Aik Kor, Chief Executive of CCCS, delivered the keynote address at the inaugural Southeast Asia M&A Forum hosted by Mergermarket and AVCJ on 28 July 2022 at The Westin Singapore and online. The forum gathered 300 corporate executives, investors and advisors from the region and abroad for an in-depth one-day discussion on the Southeast Asian M&A Landscape.

Ms Sia spoke on the role of competition regulation in merger control and highlighted that competition compliance is becoming an increasingly important area of awareness for M&A practitioners today. This is evident, from a regulator’s perspective, by the uptick in merger notifications received by the CCCS in recent years. In 2021, CCCS received a total of 9 merger notifications, which is the highest number of notifications that CCCS has received in recent years.

With the upward trend in M&A activity, competition assessments for merger cases have also developed in complexity and require CCCS to canvass complex issues across different industries. Notwithstanding the voluntary nature of Singapore’s merger notification regime, CCCS continues to stay vigilant in monitoring mergers in the market, and may investigate an un-notified merger situation if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the merger may have resulted, or may be expected to result, in substantial lessening of competition in Singapore. A case in point was the Grab-Uber merger in 2018 which was not notified to CCCS but was investigated by CCCS subsequently and resulted in an infringement in the digital space.

With the evolving M&A landscape, Ms Sia added that it is only be a matter of time before the digital markets becomes an even more significant area of focus for competition regulators in merger assessment and possible enforcement. Beyond the merger analysis framework, Ms Sia highlighted three issues with the emergence of digital platforms that are unique to digital markets and warrants closer regulatory attention , namely “killer acquisitions” in the digital space, the conglomerate nature of digital platforms and the role of data in mergers and acquisitions.

For more information on the forum and Ms Sia’s keynote address, please visit