Insight

Competition Law Update: Formation of the Myanmar Competition Commission

Competition Law Update: Formation of the Myanmar Competition Commission

John Dick

John Dick

September 23, 2019 11:39 PM

The Myanmar Competition Commission (the Commission) was established pursuant to Notification 106/2018 dated 31 October 2018, and various members of the Commission were appointed. The Union Minister for Commerce will act as Chair of the Commission, and the Director General of the Department of Trade will be the Secretary of the Commission. They are supported by individuals from professional bodies (including lawyers, economists), as well as representatives from the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Transport and Communication and the Union Attorney General’s Office. In line with the approach adopted in other countries, the Commission consists of members from professional bodies in addition to government officials.

This is a long awaited move towards the implementation and enforcement of the Myanmar Competition Law. The powers and duties of the Commission were prescribed by the Myanmar Competition Rules. We recap the Competition Law and the Rules below.

Myanmar Competition Law

To level the playing field amongst businesses and promote a culture of fair competition, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 9, 2015 (the Competition Law) was enacted in 24 February, 2015 and came into effect in February, 2017.

The objectives of the Competition Law are: (a) to prevent acts that injure public interests through monopolisation or manipulation of prices by any individual or group with intent to endanger fair competition in economic activities, for the purpose of development of the national economy, (b) to control unfair market competition on the internal or external trade and economic development, (c) to prevent the abuse of dominant market power, and (d) to control the restrictive agreements and arrangements among businesses.

The Competition Law also prohibits "unfair competition" conduct, which includes practices such as misleading consumers, disclosing trade secrets, intimidating other business persons and defaming the reputation of another business.

The Competition Law is also applicable to firms located outside Myanmar whose behaviour directly affects competition and consumers in domestic markets. The Competition Law’s merger control provisions are also applicable to foreign mergers.

The Competition Law prescribes a wide range of duties and powers for the Commission, from setting merger thresholds to overseeing the Investigation Committee. A comprehensive list is set out in Part V of the Competition Law, and includes:

    a. Scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions among businesses
    b. Exemption of essential industries and small and medium enterprises from compliance with the Competition Law;
    c. Determination of market share, supply, amount of capital, number of shares and magnitude of owned property relating to a business which are detrimental to competition due to dominance;
    d. Determination of threshold for a business to be deemed to be operating as a monopoly; and
    e. The power to direct businesses to reduce their market share to below the prescribed amount deemed by the Commission to be anti-competitive.

Myanmar Competition Rules

By Notification 50/2017 dated 9 October 2017, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) issued the Competition Rules (the Rules), pursuant to Article 56(a) of the Competition Law, to provide guidance on the implementation of the Competition Law.

The Rules provided for the formation of the Commission and appointment of the Secretariat. The Rules also set out (a) the process for filing of complaints / whistleblowing and investigations for infringements; (b) duties and powers of the Commission, the Secretariat, the Investigatory Committee and other relevant bodies; and (c) penalties and punishments.

Moving Forward

With the regulatory body (the Commission) in place to implement and enforce the Competition Law and the Rules, businesses operating in Myanmar should take steps to ensure compliance. Employees should be aware of their obligations to comply with competition regulations and to refrain from anti-competitive behaviour – this applies in particular to those making pricing decisions.

Businesses with a large market share ought to be careful not to be seen to abuse their dominant market position. We would recommend that commercial arrangements (including horizontal and vertical agreements) be reviewed and scrutinised carefully to ensure compliance.

Businesses entering the Myanmar market must evaluate their pricing and branding/marketing strategies, and steer clear of any anti-competitive behaviour. Joint ventures or mergers / acquisitions need to be assessed carefully so as to avoid excessive market concentration that may be deemed to be monopoly behaviour. Further, trade associations must be cautious and avoid price level coordination, organising resources and any other anti-competitive behaviour.

The Myanmar government has taken significant steps to move forward along with other countries in developing anti-trust policies. This is an encouraging sign for investors – that the market is regulated to maintain healthy competition.

Related Articles

A Studied Neutrality


by Best Lawyers

Marcel Meinhardt discusses a new interpretation in competition law, new challenges as technology advances more and more, and other topics.

An Interview With Lenz & Staehelin

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do


by Douglas C. Ross

As antitrust prosecutors look at “Big Tech,” one size doesn’t fit all

Planning Your Digital Estate Plan

Why Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos Developed Its Own Legal Tech


by Best Lawyers

Juan Pablo Matus of Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos, 2019 "Law Firm of the Year" award for Corporate and M&A Law in Chile, discusses his firm's joint venture with Cognitiva in creating Lexnova, a legal AI system.

Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos Interview

Staying Competitive in Competitions and Antitrust Law


by Best Lawyers

Igor Svechkar of Asters talks with Best lawyers about his firm's 2019 Antitrust "Law Firm of the Year" award for Ukraine.

Asters Q&A Law Firm of the Year

Claims for Antitrust Damages


by Bernt Elsner and Molly Kos

The Austrian Cartel Amendment Act (Kartell- und Wettbewerbsrechts-Änderungsgesetz) 2017 might be put up for its first high-class practicability test sooner than expected.

Antitrust Damages

Trending Articles

The Best Lawyers in Spain™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

Announcing Spain's recognized lawyers for 2023.

Flag of Spain

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in America Honorees


by Best Lawyers

Only the top 5.3% of all practicing lawyers in the U.S. were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Gold strings and dots connecting to form US map

The Best Lawyers in Chile™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms in Chile.

White star in blue box beside white box with red box on bottom

The Best Lawyers in South Africa™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers proudly announces lawyers recognized in South Africa for 2023.

South African flag

The 2023 Best Lawyers in Portugal™


by Best Lawyers

Announcing the elite group of lawyers recognized in Portugal for 2023.

Green and red Portuguese flag

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Peru™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

Honoring our awarded lawyers for 2023 in Peru.

Red and white stripes with green leaf symbol

The Best Lawyers in Spain™ 2022


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms.

The Best Lawyers in Spain™ 2022

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2023


by Best Lawyers

The third edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ highlights the legal talent of lawyers who have been in practice less than 10 years.

Three arrows made of lines and dots on blue background

Thirteen Years of Excellence


by Best Lawyers

For the 13th consecutive year, “Best Law Firms” has awarded the most elite and talented law firms across the country through a thorough and trusted data review process.

Red, white and blue pipes and writing on black background

Famous Songs Unprotected by Copyright Could Mean Royalties for Some


by Michael B. Fein

A guide to navigating copyright claims on famous songs.

Can I Sing "Happy Birthday" in Public?

IN PARTNERSHIP

Rewriting 𝙃𝙀𝙍𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮 One Verdict at a Time


by Justin Smulison

Athea Trial Lawyers was formed only a year ago by several prestigious lawyers seeking justice for their clients, and together they are making history.

Six female lawyers sitting in office

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers® in the United States


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and in the 2nd Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2022.

2022 Best Lawyers Listings for United States

What the Courts Say About Recording in the Classroom


by Christina Henagen Peer and Peter Zawadski

Students and parents are increasingly asking to use audio devices to record what's being said in the classroom. But is it legal? A recent ruling offer gives the answer to a question confusing parents and administrators alike.

Is It Legal for Students to Record Teachers?

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in Canada Honorees


by Best Lawyers

The Best Lawyers in Canada™ is entering its 17th edition for 2023. We highlight the elite lawyers awarded this year.

Red map of Canada with white lines and dots

Announcing the 2022 "Best Law Firms" Rankings


by Best Lawyers

The 2022 “Best Law Firms” publication includes all “Law Firm of the Year” recipients, national and metro Tier 1 ranked firms and editorial from thought leaders in the legal industry.

The 2022 Best Law Firms Awards

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers in South Africa™


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms.

Announcing 2022 Best Lawyers in South Africa