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Antitrust and Competition Law

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introduction

CNPlaw LLP is a full-service law firm with a dedicated competition law practice.

We strive to provide our clients with accurate, high quality, commercially driven legal advice upon the back of sound legal and economic principles.

Our aim is to limit the risk exposure of our clients and ensure their compliance with relevant laws while we assist them to achieve their commercial objectives.

We believe that high quality legal advice should commensurate with competitive market rates. By adopting a leaner operation, utilising our resources on quality and efficiency enhancing essentials (such as technology, research tools, etc), harnessing our niche legal expertise, and managing our client load, we are able to deliver our services efficiently and without any compromise. Our close working relationships with other service providers including law firms internationally ensures that we are able to handle matters that require cross-border expertise.

Expertise

Since the enactment of the Competition Act in Singapore in 2004, our firm’s partner in the Competition Law Practice Group, John Mark Chen has been actively involved in competition law work. Having practiced previously in top tier competition law practices in Singapore since the inception of the Competition Act, he was involved in many landmark antitrust decisions and merger control notifications. He has also international cross-border experience working for an extended period of time at the London offices of an international law firm. John Mark has advised on all aspects of competition law and has represented a range of clients across various industries before the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS).

Competition law in the ASEAN region is developing rapidly with a number of countries introducing or strengthening their competition legislative frameworks. Through our international legal network, we are able to assist our clients with a comprehensive and integrated service across the globe. Our strong understanding of the local business and regulatory environment enables us to offer clients innovative solutions to difficult and complex regulatory issues promptly and effectively.

practice areas

A diverse range of services to meet your legal needs.

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We advise on antitrust and merger control issues that our clients face in their businesses. We assist our clients to strategize their business dealings with their distributors, customers, suppliers, contractors and sometime even competitors assisting them to understand and better manage their compliance efforts in relation to the Competition Act. Some of the issues we have advised:

  • pricing, exclusive agreements, licensing, loyalty and discount schemes agreements, commercial arrangements;
  • commercial agreements, joint ventures; and
  • mergers and acquisitions, ancillary restraints, asset purchase agreements, takeovers or buyouts.

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We assist our clients in conducting self-assessment exercises for their mergers (a requirement specified by the CCCS) and draft merger filings for submission to the CCCS.

We assist to identify potential competition law issues in a proposed merger transaction and help parties to address such issues efficiently. We adopt a holistic approach in assessing competition law risks within the applicable legislative and regulatory framework. We undertake pre-notification discussions and negotiations with the CCCS to expedite the merger filing process.

We have experience and the requisite contacts through our international law network to provide clients with a seamless merger filing coordination across multiple jurisdictions.

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We analyse business practices to identify potential infringing agreements or conduct. Thereafter, we advise our clients on the merits of notifying their agreements or conduct to the CCCS and draft filings to the CCCS to put our client’s best case for a favourable decision or guidance from the CCCS.

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We assist our clients to assess anti-competitive behavior committed in the market. After doing so, we advise our clients on what are the strategic best steps forward to protect their interests. This may include:

  • Applying to the CCCS for leniency for clients involved in cartels;
  • Filing complaints on behalf of clients of alleged violation of competition law so that the CCCS will step in as regulator to amend or prohibit the anti-competitive behaviour; and
  • Conducting internal company investigations of suspected cartel behavior or abuse of dominance.

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We advise clients on a broad spectrum of issues relating to investigations by the CCCS. Upon a dawn-raid or investigation notice issued by the CCCS, we will assist our clients on every step of the way until the CCCS closes the investigation or makes a decision. These include a multitude of matters such as conducting internal investigations on business activities and agreements, interview preparations, drafting responses to CCCS’ notices and queries as well as engaging with the CCCS regarding the investigation. Our approach in such matters is to allow our clients to put their best case forward to the CCCS in an efficient, truthful and complete manner.

We are also equipped to attend to actual dawn raids conducted by the CCS against our clients within short notice to ensure our client’s interest are protected.

Our dawn raid hotline number is 65 6349 8727

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Competition Compliance Programs are vital to a company’s risk management strategy. Such training programs play a key role in encouraging compliance and help mitigate against the infringement of competition legislation. We assist clients to develop bespoke competition compliance programs to suit the industry and sector in which they operate. Our compliance programs typically comprise of an audit, training and practice manual.

During the audit, we will conduct a thorough review of a company’s corporate background, market share, relevant communications, major agreements and it’s pricing and distribution strategy, thereby identifying areas of concerns and proposing appropriate actions to be taken under the company’s Competition Compliance Program.

We regularly conduct training programs for clients that are proactive in competition compliance. Typically, these would include seminar and role-playing methods. We can also conduct mock dawn-raids to tests the responsiveness of employees to prepare in case the offices are raided by the CCCS.

We also design specific competition compliance codes and guidelines for companies, depending on the industry they are operating in, so that employees have a main reference document in the basic aspects of competition law.

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