Thursday, December 8, 2011

Of Course It's Price-Fixing!

In one of its rare successes in persecution, the Competition Commission of Singapore (“CCS”) issued an Infringement Decision on 23 Nov 2011 against 11 modelling agencies in Singapore for breaching the Competition Act (“the Act”). It stated for public record, "Trade or industry associations should not become the vehicle to facilitate price collusion or price-fixing."

When CCS ruled against the Singapore Medical Association (“SMA”) Guidelines on Fees in August 2010, it made clear, " In general, price recommendations by trade or professional associations are harmful to competition because they create focal points for prices to converge, restrict independent pricing decisions and signal to market players what their competitors are likely to charge."

Now put into context the action plan of the National Taxi Association (NTA), a trade union body representing some 12,000 taxi drivers, which has said it "is already in talks with other taxi companies and urges them to adjust their taxi fares as soon as possible."

You don't need to be a qualified civil lawyer like Mr Sng Kheng Huat to concur that the NTA statement "smacks of an attempt at price-fixing."

So why did the CCS declined to "comment "on individual cases or whether it is investigation a case"? Could it be because ComfortDelGro's major shareholder (12.1%) is Singapore Labour Foundation? We know the part about fixing the opposition, are they planning to fix the commuters too?

CCS is a statutory board established under the Act on 1 January 2005 to administer and enforce the Competition Act. The Act empowers CCS to investigate alleged anti-competitive activities, determine if such activities infringe the Act and impose suitable remedies, directions and financial penalties. Now go investigate and earn your year end bonuses.

Does this look like they need the money?

15 comments:

  1. The move by taxi companies exactly falls into this action of "create focal points for prices to converge". This is a classic case of price fixing!Hope CCS will come out strongly to fine these companies when they announce their new rates.

    Looking at the past, I have serious doubt that CCS will come out and act at all. They never did that in the past. Maybe their defence will be that it would benefit commuters to have a same rate for all taxi companies. Just to avoid confusion to public and tourists alike. Heck, we are already confused by the complicating formula!

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  2. This is clearly a price fixing case. But the rule works and applies differently in Singapore.

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  3. What about petrol prices? All the fuel stations seem to raise their prices in unison.

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  4. We have legalised (aka lee-galized) corruption , and we also have have legalised price-fixing (approved by lee dynasty ), so why so surprise ?

    Everything that is wrong and corrupted in other country, just leegalize it and it becomes "business as usual" lah... Isn't this how PayAndPay government work all along ?

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  5. If it is against the the establishment's interest, price fixing companies are persecuted.

    But if it serves the elites' interest, something as black and white as taxi fare price fixing can be justified and excused on all kinds of as-yet unexplained grounds.

    The Competition Commission of Singapore is a quack quacking duck.

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  6. hahahahahaha
    when you are the govt, you can do anything, esp when 60% of the idiot population actually believe all your contradictory, illogical claims. kuan yew is right. we may be more educated but we are certainly not smarter. at least 60% are obviously not. in fact they'r downright STUPID.

    price fixing is not price fixing. collusion is not collusion.

    thinking short term, like open-the-flood-gates foreigners' policy without infrastructural backup, is thinking long term.

    doing (i refuse to say listening because all it means is hearing Without carrying out what you've been told) what citizens want is dismissed as being populist and terrible.

    giving out a few crumbs a few months before a GE has nothing to do with winning votes. it's an honest thoughtful gesture.

    where bribing you with upgrading is not bribery.

    where threatening those who do not vote you in is thinking of the best interests of the people and the country.

    where offering more help to the poor, elderly and handicapped would make this a welfare state.

    where raising prices of Everything and keeping wages low is good for the economy and the country and the people. what you guys cant afford things now? hullo, you are not saving enough.

    where being meritocratic means knowing the elite. so you have a bunch of high grade scoring goons in charge, but where no one has the faintest clue about strange things like social impact of decisions and policies.

    where increasing GDP without making sure all this wonderful profit and largesse is not shared by citizens but instead affects them badly in a myriad ways, is increasing the standard of living.

    where having smaller homes where you are squeezed, in blocks which are cheek by jowl to each other, means you have more space now and a higher standard of living.

    where forcing people to resort to using an aircon because wind flow no longer comes into the picture because of above, is going green.

    where building on green spaces and lopping shady trees is being environmentally friendly. got new botanic gardens what...

    where addressing problems only when people are jumping up and down with rage because the effects of the policies are so bad, is being responsive.

    where super high prices of public housing are affordable.

    where making sure everyone cleans out their CPF to pay for their home so there is nothing left for retirement/when you get old, except for the weeny trickle of funds you will get from being forced to keep a minimum sum in your CPF account, is not kicking the can down the road.

    where allowing any old foreigner to buy landed property and any other sort of property they so desire helps enhance the value of your home and improve the economy.

    where pulling down landmarks so it takes a car 5 mins less to reach wherever, is good for the country. never mind that anyone who goes off for two years will come back and say this is not the place i used to know or that those who remain no longer recognise this place as home.

    where always always highlighting race at every single opportunity helps build racial harmony and makes you feel more singaporean, more one people one nation.

    singapore, a unique little island, where contradiction is the norm and where the so-called best education in the world cannot produce good enough people to head corporations, or have the cow sense to see through all the stupid shit they're perpetually fed!! i hope the 60% are happy.

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  7. Competition Commission of Singapore is as trustworthy as the Public Transport Council, as impartial as the Singapore Elections Department and as efficient as the Ministerial Pay Review Committee. Whatever la, you know they aren't there to work for people's interests.

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  8. If NTUC or a PAP-related business operated the modelling agencies and were engaging in egregious price fixing, the toothless tiger CCS wouldn't go near them.

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  9. So besides MPs wayang, CCS also wayang!

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  10. Talking about price-fixing, just look our all glc telco collusion. No matter how they play with the plan to masquerade as competition, it is just collusion as usual.

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  11. http://humyeefansang.blogspot.com/2011/12/singapore-taxi-is-more-fucked-up-than.html

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  12. Anti-competition commission? Are you serious about this? Anti-competition concept can only work in truly free market that government has absolutely no direct involvement. Consumers association? Are you kidding about this? Again, it will works only in a truly free market that no direct government involvement. Meritocracy? Are you daft to believe that? Meritocracy works only in truly accountable and transparent government. The red dot is of course very unique in all these aspects. This is a country that has an unaccountable and opaque government and yet 60% people still vote for it for fear of change. This is not a sustainable governance. It is just matter of time when the it fails completely.

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  13. WTF are our PAP leaders doing ? We seems to have all the right things done but in the wrong manipulative & calculative PAP way.

    First we have unions who are not unions in their real sense. Then we have a PA who are involved in dirty partisan politics. Also we are told our GST is to help the poor but in fact burdening them further.

    Now we have a Govt poking with their fingers poking in every pie with the sole aim to make profits like nobody's else business even in public transport & public housing.

    What else can we say about this greedy Govt ?

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  14. The business of a govt is to govern. In SG, they run businesses and govern people all the same. It's so screwed up, the 60% really think they have the best of both hybrid world - which is utter screwed up - neither here nor there. No wonder we are called "rush-rush-no-time-for-anybody-culture, where people are seen as sources of money". The best part - the govt will dictate and tell you how many times to change underwear.

    http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2011/12/10/277481_lifestyle.html

    Do Singaporeans still know the difference between civic rights, human rights & govt rights anymore?

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  15. This is outright price collusion by the taxi companies. We should also collude, stand together and display our protest by not taking Comfort and SMRT. Its about time they treat consumers democratically.

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