Promoting Convergence in ASEAN Competition Laws and Practice

Maximiano, Ruben Lapa and Burgess, Rachel and Meester, Wouter (2019) Promoting Convergence in ASEAN Competition Laws and Practice. In: Global Competition Enforcement: New Players, New Challenges. Kluwer Law International, Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands, pp. 233-262. ISBN 9789403502830


In 2010, only four of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States (AMSs) (Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam) had enacted competition laws, and of these only Singapore and Indonesia were actively enforcing their laws. By December 2015, when the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) came into effect, all AMSs (with the exception of Cambodia), had introduced legislation addressing competition law and policy. In addition, competition law enforcement across the ASEAN jurisdictions had dramatically increased.

ASEAN and its Member States have made the choice not to have one regional competition framework, enforced by one supranational authority, but instead to have national competition laws enforced by national authorities. This raises the inevitable question of whether convergence of competition law and policy in ASEAN is achievable. The extent to which laws are drafted using similar language and substantive tests will be an important element in achieving a high degree of convergence (we call this ‘hard’ convergence). As competition law is highly dependent on complex legal and economic analysis and interpretation, the approach taken by the AMSs to interpreting those laws will also have a significant effect on the potential for convergent outcomes (we call this ‘soft’ convergence). With diverse historical backgrounds and a mix of civil and common law legal systems, there is a risk that the AMSs will take diverse approaches to competition law and policy implementation.

This chapter argues that continuing efforts are needed in relation to both hard and soft convergence if convergence is to be achieved. Convergence is mostly likely to occur if there is coordination and cooperation between the ASEAN competition authorities. To support this discussion, the chapter focuses on the text of the AMSs’ competition laws and policies as well as the available published guidance. Insofar as is possible, the chapter also considers decided cases to determine where reliance on established jurisprudence exists in the interpretation of the law and policies. The institutional structures of the ASEAN competition authorities are consid- ered as they will greatly influence the likelihood of convergence. If interpretation of the law and the powers and priorities of the regulators and competition authorities differ too greatly, convergence will be more difficult.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 Jul 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2020 04:28
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2020 00:14
Uncontrolled Keywords: Competition law; ASEAN; convergence; regional cooperation
Fields of Research (2008): 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1899 Other Law and Legal Studies > 189999 Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4899 Other law and legal studies > 489999 Other law and legal studies not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919999 Economic Framework not elsewhere classified

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