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Singapore Competition Watchdog Gains New Powers to Protect Consumers

Apr 06 2018 | by OrionW

On 1 April 2018, the Competition Commission of Singapore became the administrator of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA).  To reflect this change, the Commission was renamed the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS).  The CPFTA is the predominant legislation for the protection of consumers against unfair trade practices in Singapore.  The CCCS sees its expanded portfolio as reinforcing its mission of “making markets work well for the benefit of both consumers and businesses in Singapore”.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) remains the first point of contact for local consumers prejudiced by unfair trade practices.  Recalcitrant retailers that do not cease their unfair practices such as making false claims or requesting for payment for unsolicited goods and services will be referred by CASE to the CCCS for investigation.  The CPFTA grants the CCCS powers to gather evidence and file injunction applications against the recalcitrant entities and enforce compliance with injunction orders issued by the Singapore courts.

Besides administering the CPFTA, the CCCS continues to be the administering agency of the Competition Act.  The CCCS is granted investigatory and enforcement powers (i.e., powers to issue directions and impose financial penalties) to stop or prevent anti-competitive activities.