On 24 February 2015, Myanmar became the sixth and latest ASEAN member country to enact its competition law (the “Competition Law”). The Competition Law will come into force at a time to be determined by the President of Myanmar.
The key prohibitions in the Competition Law are similar to those contained in the competition laws of major jurisdictions, including:
- Prohibition against anti-competitive acts: Such as collusion to fix purchase or selling prices in tenders or auctions, abuse of dominance, agreements to restrict competition in the market, restrictions on sharing of markets or sources of supply, production, markets, technology and technical development, and investment;
- Prohibition against monopolisation of markets: Such as through controlling the purchase price or sale price of a commodity, restricting services or production with the aim of controlling prices, fixing compulsory terms and conditions to be followed by other businessmen, delaying, reducing or restricting services without reasonable grounds, restricting or controlling the area where goods and services are traded to prevent entry and to control market share;
- Prohibition of unfair competition: Such as deception of consumers, disclosure of business secrets, coercion between businessmen, defamation of another business, carrying out advertising and sales promotion for purposes of unfair competition, discrimination among businessmen and sale at prices below cost of production; and
- Prohibition on collaboration among businesses: Includes mergers, amalgamations, acquisitions and joint ventures which raise market dominance, lessen competition to a single or only a few businesses, or exceed the market share limit prescribed.
There is a statutory 90-day waiting period during which the Myanmar Government is required to introduce rules and regulations to implement the Competition Law.
Details on how the above prohibitions in the Competition Law will be implemented have yet to be published