Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore to axe exclusivity practice after probe

Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore(APBS) has provided the CCS with a voluntary commitment to cease its outlet exclusivity practice.
Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore(APBS) has provided the CCS with a voluntary commitment to cease its outlet exclusivity practice.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore has agreed to stop supplying draught beer to retail outlets on an exclusive basis after it was investigated by the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS).

The CCS said in a statement on Wednesday that it had acted on complaints, adding: "The outlet-exclusivity practice had prevented retail outlets from selling draught beers from competing suppliers and restricted the choices of draught beers available to retailers and consumers."

Under competition laws here, a dominant firm is prohibited from preventing or impeding its competitors from competing effectively through exclusive business practices.

In its investigation, the CCS obtained information on the beer market in Singapore from retailers and beer suppliers.

Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore(APBS) has since provided the CCS with a voluntary commitment to cease its outlet exclusivity practice.

The change in the company's business practices will be applicable to all draught beer contracts entered into with retailers on and after Dec 28 2015, including new and renewal contracts. APBS will also be required to provide CCS with documents to show that these changes have taken effect.

The CCS will continue to monitor market practices

CCS chief executive Toh Han Li said: "The removal of these exclusive business practices will allow retailers to stock a greater variety of draught beers, leading to a more vibrant market with more choices for consumers, as well as opportunities for existing suppliers and new entrants including microbreweries and craft beer suppliers."

He added that in general, exclusive agreements made by a dominant firm that harm competition may be illegal under the Competition Act.

jalmsab@sph.com.sg