Philippines Competition Commission to roll out leniency program in January 2019

Written on 15 Jan 2019

The Philippines Competition Commission (PCC) plans to roll out its Leniency Program this month. The “Rules of the Leniency Program” was published on 29 December 2018. The Leniency Program offers the benefit of leniency in the form of immunity from suit or reduction of administrative fines. Based on our understanding of the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore’s experience, we expect the PCC to take on more cartel enforcement activities in 2019, as the Leniency Program will generate more leads for investigations. As at 31 March 2017, the CCCS reported that it received 22 leniency applications since the start of its leniency regime. Parties under investigation in six out of the 13 cartel infringement decisions issued by the CCCS applied for leniency. These cases are Ball Bearings, Capacitors, Fresh Chicken Parts, Electrical and Building Works, Electrical and Asset Tagging, and Freight Forwarding.

A copy of the Philippines’ “Rules of the Leniency Program” can be accessed here.

The introduction of the PCC’s Leniency Program brings the total number of leniency programs amongst the 10 ASEAN member states to five. The other ASEAN competition law regimes with leniency programs are: Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Singapore. The KPPU (Indonesia’s competition authority) is widely expected to introduce a leniency program following the scheduled finalisation of Indonesia’s competition law amendment bill in 2019.

How we can help

Please feel free to contact us if you like to discuss how these developments may potentially affect your business operations in Singapore and the region. We have an intimate knowledge of the leniency regime in Singapore, and are equipped to advise businesses on the procedures and guide them through the various stages involved in filing leniency applications with the CCCS. In particular, Harikumar reviewed and assisted with the administration of the CCCS’s leniency program over the last eight years. He also supervised case teams formed to work on leniency applications. If the alleged cartel conduct is multi-jurisdictional, we will work with Osborne Clarke’s network of offices around the world to devise and implement a multi-jurisdictional leniency application strategy.