Amended Competition Law levels playing field

08:54 | 15/01/2018 Society

(VEN) - “The amended Competition Law aims to ensure fair business competition to enhance the efficiency of the entire economy and protect the legitimate interests of businesses and consumers,” Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said at the fourth plenary session of the 14th National Assembly.

amended competition law levels playing field

According to Trinh Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Competition and Consumer Protection Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), in enforcing the Competition Law over the past 12 years, the MoIT had conducted 87 pre-litigation investigations in important and sensitive sectors of the economy in order to detect violations.

Minister Tran Tuan Anh said the amended Competition Law aims to surmount a lack of basis for control over actions taken beyond Vietnam’s territory that have or may have adverse impacts on the competition environment in Vietnam.

The amended draft version of the Competition Law consists of nine chapters with 121 articles. The draft maintains six articles of the 2004 law, amends 66 articles, supplements 49 articles, and abrogates 49 articles. Major amendments and supplements aim to increase the range of subjects covered by the law. Apart from individuals and organizations doing business, the draft also applies to related domestic and foreign agencies, organizations and individuals. Stipulations pertaining to the control over the abuse of monopoly power were amended based on the combination between economic and legal considerations.

The draft also consists of specific rules for dealing with unhealthy competition mentioned in other laws, but creates no overlaps to prevent conflicts in enforcement. Notably, the draft supplements the Competition Law by stipulating that a National Competition Agency will be the only authority to enforce the amended Competition Law. It will be based on the merger of the Vietnam Competition Authority and the Competition Council, and operate under the management of the MoIT. The draft assigns the government to stipulate the functions, tasks, rights and organizational structure of the National Competition Agency.

The draft was submitted to the 14th National Assembly at its fourth plenary session and is expected to be approved at the forthcoming session in May 2018. Economists believe the amended Competition Law will create a fair playing field for domestic and foreign businesses, while at the same time protecting consumer interests.

In the past 12 years, the Vietnam Competition Authority has conducted 10-12 pre-litigation investigations into actions suspected of hindering healthy competition annually. Through investigations conducted at nearly 70 businesses, competition authorities dealt with eight cases, collecting fines totaling nearly VND5.5 billion.

Thu Ha