Uniformity of price between traders selling the same goods can be a result of a cartel or merely price-following due to competition.
I have read the concerns raised by Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye in his letter to the NST dated June 2 with interest in relation to the high prices of foods at Ramadan bazaars.
Cartel means competitors who work together to set uniformed prices or discounts, or other trading conditions to impede competition to their own benefit.
Price-following, on the other hand, is akin to a conscious parallel behaviour between competitors whereby there may be no element of collusion.
Every enterprise is free to set its own prices, and it may charge the same price as competitors as long as the decision is not
based on any agreement or collusion with one or more competitors.
The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) acts against parties that distort competition significantly through price fixing.
We work with the authorities to control negative trade practices.
Nevertheless, business operators should also be aware that the practice of price fixing or cartels is a violation of the Competition Act 2010 (CA 2010).
MyCC will not hesitate to initiate investigations into enterprises that infringe CA 2010.
If found guilty, the penalty may be up to 10 per cent of the enterprise’s worldwide turnover.
I welcome people to come forward with complaints on price fixing or cartels.
Hence, I urge people to play their part in ensuring this year’s Ramadan is more economically viable.
Datuk Abu Samah Shabudin, Chief executive officer, Malaysia Competition Commission