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Singapore – Visa Multilateral Interchange Fee (“MIF”) Held Not To Infringe Prohibition Against Anti-Competitive Agreements.

9 December, 2013

On 18 September 2013, the Competition Commission of Singapore (“CCS”) announced that the Visa MIF would not infringe the Section 34 prohibition against anti-competitive agreements under Singapore competition law. In arriving at its decision, the CCS took the view that the MIF had no anti-competitive object and undertook, therefore, an examination of the effect of Visa’s MIF by analysing the state of competition in the relevant markets in Singapore with and without the MIF system. While the CCS had concluded that based on the evidence available to it there would not be appreciable adverse effects on competition in the relevant markets, the CCS reserved the right to re- examine the matter if there was a material change in circumstances.

 

As the CCS had concluded that there would be no appreciable adverse effect on competition in the relevant markets, the CCS decided that it was not necessary to additionally review the applicant’s claim for an exclusion from Section 34 on the basis that the MIF system would result in a net economic benefit. The implication of this is that parties to an agreement seeking guidance from the CCS to establish whether their agreement is likely to infringe the prohibition of anti-competitive agreements may do it on the grounds that the agreement has no anti-competitive object and no appreciable adverse effect on competition without having to first establish that the agreement would result in a net economic benefit or would be otherwise excluded from the Section 34 prohibition.

 

Rajah & Tann

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Kala Anandarajah, Partner, Rajah & Tann
kala.anandarajah@rajahtann.com

 

Dominique Lombardi, Partner, Rajah & Tann
dominique.lombardi@rajahtann.com 
Homegrown Competition & Antitrust Law Firms in Singapore

 
 

 

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