Grab Inc, alongside related corporate entities Grabcar Sdn Bhd and Myteksi Sdn Bhd, filed a leave application for judicial review, through Messrs Shanthi Kandiah Chambers, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Registry on Dec 30 last year.
By Hidir Reduan Abdul Rashid
February 12, 2020 7:12 am
The rumoured merger between Air Asia Group Bhd and Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS) has raised concerns about competition, mainly because the merged entity will command almost 85% of the domestic market in terms of revenue passenger kilometre.
When it comes to a merger between airlines, however, the assessment of whether it constitutes a monopoly is not as simple as looking at the market share of the passengers it will carry in a year. According to competition law practitioner Shanthi Kandiah, such an assessment is typically based on the individual routes.
“The authorities would look at the extent of the overlapping of routes. They would also see whether the competitors have sufficient excess capacity to mitigate the risk of the merged entity’s raising prices.
“The parties would have to provide evidence of efficiencies, for example, through a better spread of scheduled flight timing and cost synergy,“ says Shanthi when contacted by The Edge last Thursday. She is founding partner of SK Chambers, a legal firm that specialises in competition law. …
Aviation is one of the sectors that have been carved out of the Competition Act 2010 and has its own competition laws and regulatory bodies. Its commercial aspects are regulated by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) while the air safety aspects are controlled by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).
It is noteworthy that the government is planning to re-merge Mavcom with CAAM. However, the former still has jurisdiction over the commercial matters of the airline industry at the moment as its governing law – the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 – is still in effect.
On its website, the commission says it prohibits any merger that will substantially lessen competition in any aviation service market.
On how Mavcom goes about it, Shanthi says, “It depends on the areas of the merger, whether it is cargo, charger or commercial flights. For commercial flights, the market definition will depend on the flight’s origin and destination. What is likely is that some local destinations will lead to a monopoly provider if the two airlines merge, unless they are served by a third airline.”
International destinations are less likely to be monopolised because there usually is another carrier serving the route, she adds.
If the Air Asia Group-MAS merger is allowed by Mavcom, the commission could secure undertakings from the merged entity, for example, the divestment of certain slots to a competitor where slot availability is an issue, Shanthi explains. “It could be required to divest certain slots unless, for example, the route is low-volume and it would be difficult to sustain a competitor.”
When asked if the authorities – whether Macvom in its current form or after being merged with CAAM – can take action against the merged entity post the exercise, Shanthi says, “Any dominant player must be cautious post-merger about increasing prices because in the past, we have seen competition authorities in other countries move to investigate the merged entity.
Sometimes, the authorities even secure as an undertaking, no changes in pricing post-merger for a defined period.”
By Kamarul Azhar
“Shanthi Kandiah said currently, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) are not legally empowered to pursue a case.
She told FMT that cyber-security cases are treated like any other criminal case, with prosecution powers in the hands of the Attorney-General’s Chambers. This means that building a case against cyber-criminals will take more time and effort.
“The burden of proof is a little bit higher, so the threshold of bringing people to task is also higher because of the nature of the liability,” the lawyer told FMT. She said getting to the root of a data breach is no easy task. Under the Personal Data Protection Act, she said, the responsibility falls on data users such as companies and not third-party data processors such as cloud service providers. She said if MCMC and PDPC had powers to impose fines, they could act quickly and bring companies that are negligent in data security to task.
“Giving the agencies such powers would send the message more quickly,” she added.
In the EU, Shanthi said, companies neglecting data security could be hauled up under the Global Data Protection Regulation, a personal data protection law applied in all EU countries.
“It’s an administrative action where agencies themselves can levy fines,” she said, citing as example a US$123 million fine imposed on the Marriott group for failing to notify customers that their data had been breached. ”
Free Malaysia Today
By Joel Shasitiran
October 8, 2019 10:00 AM
When Regulators Come Knocking: Responding To Raids, Investigations And How To Avoid Risks.
“According to Shanti Kandiah of SK Chambers, a lawyer who is an expert in competition law, MCMC has taken the view that Sections 133 and 139 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 allow the commission to regulate matters pertaining to M&A involving communications and multimedia companies.
It is worth noting that the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) does not have the power to regulate M&A as the Competition Act 2010 neither prohibits monopoly of business nor M&A.
“The parties involved will have to satisfy MCMC that the merger does not have the effect of lessening competition within the industry,” says Shanti.”
By Kamarul Azhar, The Edge Malaysia
December 25, 2018 17:00 +08
No one is giving the Grab-Uber union a break, now that Singapore has deemed it detrimental to competition. Is it still all-systems-go for the deal to take off in Malaysia?
Produced by: Arleen Webber
Presented by: Caroline Oh, Ezra Zaid