9th February 2022 - 2 min read
The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) has stepped forward to reprimand “certain influential groups of enterprises”, stating that statements signalling the market on potential price increases are unnecessary. Additionally, it may cause fear and panic among consumers.
In a statement, the commission said that it is aware of recent remarks made by certain groups that have warned consumers to prepare themselves for price increases of up to 10% for both food and non-food items. This is on top of comments regarding the potential disruption of certain essential food items until Ramadhan and Aidilfitri, due to prolonged discussion on subsidy.
“The MyCC views the statements by these entities with deep concern. It is to be noted that these entities have strong leverage in the relevant markets, and as such, the said statements could amount to an attempt to shape the conduct of enterprises in the market,” it warned, adding that such actions – if significant enough – may raise concerns under the Competition Act 2010.
MyCC further explained that the act of price signalling may include invitation to collude, or public statement that have potential anti-competitive effects of pricing disclosures. This could potentially translate to a violation under “generic prohibitions of anti-competitive agreements, or concerted practices prohibitions.”
The commission then urged all entities to cooperate with the government to find the best mechanism to address any issues of concern. “We would like to remind all groups, especially federations of associations, or associations of traders or enterprises to refrain from issuing similar statements and any similar statements to the effect in the future,” said the chief executive officer of MyCC, Iskandar Ismail, adding that MyCC will continue to actively monitor the situation and take enforcement actions where necessary.
Prior to this, several associations have shared comments regarding potential price hikes for both food and non-food items, with the most recent being the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM). The FMM had cautioned consumers that they may need to pay up to 10% more for their daily essentials if the cost of food and non-food items are not controlled. The managing director of hypermarket and retail chain Mydin, Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin, too, had previously made similar remarks.
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