Competition Policy

The main objective of a competition policy is to foster a culture of fair competition.  Institutions and laws relating to competition policy have been established in some (but not all) AMCs. Currently, only five AMCs (Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam) have their own competition laws and competition regulatory bodies enforcing the laws.

The ASEAN Experts Group on Competition (AEGC) was established in 2007 as a regional forum to discuss and cooperate on competition law and policy. The AEGC is an official body which comprises of representatives of the AMCs' competition authorities and/or agencies in charge of competition policy. Since its establishment, the AEGC has issued several guidelines, including the ASEAN Regional Guidelines on Competition Policy and the Guidelines on Developing Core Competencies in Competition Policy and Law for ASEAN.

In practice, whilst competition laws vary from one AMC to another, there are a number of common principles that can be found in each of the national competition laws or their current draft. In particular, the prohibition of anti-competitive agreements, the prohibition of the abuse of a dominant position, and the regulation of mergers that may result in a substantial lessening of competition, are key common threads in competition laws.

As far as businesses are concerned, it is critical for them to understand their risks when doing business in ASEAN. Table 5 highlights the state of AMC's competition laws with regards to two key areas of competition: Cartels and Mergers.