INTERNATIONAL: MYANMAR - NEW COMPETITION LAW - OVERVIEW - REGULATORY AUTHORITY - ASEAN

Myanmar’s 2015 competition law: A first step in the right direction

On February 24th, 2015, the Republic of Myanmar has adopted its first competition law. It is now the 6th country among the ASEAN member’s countries to adopt a comprehensive competition law after Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The adoption of the competition law is in line with ASEAN’s objectives to introduce a competition policy by 2015. It introduces the basic framework of a sophisticated competition regime and addresses the standard pillars of competition law and also unfair trade practices. It also sets a foundation for the creation of a regulatory body with investigative and adjudicative powers and establishes a comprehensive penalty regime with potential for private damages and a leniency policy. While it is commendable that the Republic of Myanmar has taken this essential first step of enacting competition legislation, it will take some time before the effectiveness of the competition law and its implementation can be assessed. This will depend, in part, on the implementing rules and the decisions of the regulatory authority.

I. Introduction 1. On February 24, 2015, Myanmar enacted its competition law (The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 9/2015) (“Competition Law”). The Competition Law will come into force at a time determined by the president and is currently awaiting the expiry of the statutory 90-day waiting period within which the Myanmar government is to introduce rules and regulations to implement the Competition Law (“Rules”). The Competition Law sets a foundation for creation of a regulatory body with investigative and adjudicative powers, addresses the three standard pillars of competition law (agreements that restrain competition, abuse of dominance and mergers) as well unfair trade practices (“UTP”), establishes a comprehensive penalty regime with the potential for private damages, conviction of senior

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David Fruitman, Myanmar’s 2015 competition law: A first step in the right direction, May 2015, Concurrences N° 2-2015, Art. N° 72301, www.concurrences.com

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