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Dominants’ Unilateral Pricing Strategies in Malaysia: A Comparative and Critical Economic and Legal Analysis
thesisposted on 13.04.2018, 00:38 by John Lee
Unilateral pricing conduct of business entities remains a controversial part of competition laws. For a country like Malaysia that is in its infancy on this aspect of the laws, enacting such laws invites the question of whether it should rely on existing laws and jurisdictions of established and developed countries, and if that should be the case, the extent of their transplantation. Or, conversely, if it is to enact the laws based entirely on local considerations, the issue of whether it is capable of producing the best laws for this end.
This thesis aims to conduct an economic and legal analysis of unilateral pricing conduct with a view of determining the appropriate regulation of such conduct in Malaysia. More specifically, it aims to examine whether the laws and guidelines issued by the Malaysian Competition Commission, the body responsible for the enactment of Malaysia’s competition laws, are in the correct and right track.
This thesis finds that the size and state of the economy have significant impact on competition policies. In view of this, this thesis suggests that economic policies and practices should be given important consideration in the enactment of competition laws as any laws that are not commensurate with the economic conditions of a country can have repercussions on the economy and the businesses.
Malaysia is faced with the challenges to design competition policies and laws that would support a free economy minus the problems of manipulation in its economic and business undertakings. This is especially the case of unilateral pricing conduct regulation where the protection of a free market somehow often clashes with competitive pricing strategies and management. Any liberal approach taken by the Malaysian authorities will be deemed anti-consumerism. On the other hand, a more stringent approach will be criticized by the Malaysian market as chilling the economy
In order to provide a framework for the analysis, the thesis draws on the approaches taken by the European Union (‘EU’), the United States (‘US’), Australia and Singapore. These approaches will be critically examined, reviewed, and compared with the approach taken by the Malaysian regulator with the aim of determining the most appropriate approach that should be taken by the Malaysian authorities.
This study moots and proposes that certain aspects of the current legislature in Malaysia need to be amended. Malaysian laws should adopt the approaches taken by the EU, the US, Australia, and Singapore. In this regard, the Malaysian legislature seems to be struggling in trying to incorporate the latest approach taken in the EU and the US in certain aspects. Malaysia should have also consider the approaches taken by the Australian and Singaporean laws and courts due to their similarities as small, open, and developing economies.