Final decision on MAS-AirAsia case ‘very soon’

28 Mar 2014 / 05:37 H.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) expects to make a final decision on its case against Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia Bhd "very soon", said its chairman, Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob (pix).
She said this at a question and answer session during a special dialogue organised by Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM).
Siti Norma was responding to a question on the expected timeframe for MyCC to make the final decision on its case against the two passenger airline market leaders.
"We made a proposed decision. We invited MAS and AirAsia to make representation to us. We have given them a hearing, they brought their lawyers and they submitted to us."
"We are at the stage of determining the representation (made) to us. The next step will be the final decision," she continued.
In October last year, MyCC CEO Shila Dorai Raj told SunBiz in an interview that the Malaysia's competition watchdog expects to make the final decision in January this year, after the two airlines present their side of the story.
The oral presentation was made by the lawyers of MAS and AirAsia on Jan 15, 2014. However, MyCC is yet to announce its final decision.
To recap, MAS and AirAsia were found to have engaged in a market-sharing agreement in the form of their Comprehensive collaboration Framework, inked in August 2011.
The airline operators were revealed to have carved out and divided domestic routes among themselves. Both airlines were found to have infringed section 4(2)(b) of the Competition Act 2010.
In its proposed decision issued on Sept 6, 2013, MyCC announced a proposed fine of RM10 million to each of the airlines, taking into consideration their cooperation in investigations as well as their voluntary removal of the routes and market focus stated in the airlines' Collaboration Agreement dated May2, 2012.
The penalty is less than the maximum fine of 10% of the companies' respective worldwide turnovers between January and April 2012, the time of the infringement.
On another note, Siti Norma said about 25 cases are under MyCC's investigation currently.
The commission has also finalised two studies, including the broiler market review on poultry prices escalation during the festive seasons, as well as the issue relating to fees-fixing by professionals such as doctors and lawyers.
"We have three cases now, which are still in the proposed stage. The rest are still in either initial stage of investigation or in the midst of investigation," said Siti Norma.
She further said that MyCC can only come to a conclusion after the commission obtains all the evidence.
"These evidence sometime can be very difficult to get, because we often rely greatly on the documents. We have the problem of getting the right information and the right evidence before we come to a conclusion," she added.

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