The Hong Kong Competition Authority issues a statement on the application of Competition Ordinance during COVID-19 outbreak and invites businesses to contact the Authority about their cooperation plans

Competition Commission issues statement on application of Competition Ordinance during COVID-19 outbreak*

The Competition Commission (Commission) is aware of the challenges which the outbreak of COVID-19 poses to business operations and the supply of critical goods and services in Hong Kong. To address possible questions and concerns from businesses and consumers about the work of the Commission or the application of the Competition Ordinance (Ordinance) during this period, the Commission issued a statement today which is summarised as follows:

The Commission continues its operations to enforce the Ordinance which remains in effect during the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, the Commission recognises that there could be a need for additional cooperation between businesses in certain industries on a temporary basis, particularly to maintain the supply of essential goods and services to consumers.

The Commission intends to take a pragmatic approach in its enforcement and advisory functions in respect of temporary measures which are genuinely necessitated by the COVID-19 outbreak and in the interests of Hong Kong consumers and society.

Where businesses propose such temporary measures, they or their relevant industry bodies are welcome to contact the Commission to discuss the application of the Ordinance to the measures. The Commission will aim to handle such engagement on an expedited basis.

As the Ordinance continues to apply in full, the Commission will remain vigilant to protect consumers from anti-competitive conduct by businesses seeking to take advantage of the outbreak or using the outbreak to justify improper collusion or other anti-competitive conduct. Such conduct will be subject to the full force of the law.

The full version of the statement, including relevant guidance from the First Conduct Rule Guideline and information on how to contact the Commission, is available on the Commission’s website (HERE).

*This is the original title of the press release. The title above has been amended in order to match the e-Competitions format. Individual authors are welcome to provide original independent commentaries on the case law. Articles are subject to approval by the Board of e-Competitions Bulletin before publication based on the Editorial Policy (click here).

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Hong Kong Competition Commission, The Hong Kong Competition Authority issues a statement on the application of Competition Ordinance during COVID-19 outbreak and invites businesses to contact the Authority about their cooperation plans, 27 March 2020, e-Competitions March 2020, Art. N° 93983

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