5 component makers accused of price fixing

Five manufacturing firms have been accused of fixing prices of electrical components, which is outlawed under local competition laws.

They engaged in anti-competitive behaviour, including unlawful exchange of confidential business information on aluminium electrolytic capacitors sold to customers here, said the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) yesterday.

It said the firms sold capacitors - used in computers and some domestic appliances - to original equipment manufacturers and electronic manufacturing service providers. They also sold them to distributors who resell capacitors and international offices supplying customers in and outside Singapore.

The accused are Panasonic Industrial Devices Singapore and Panasonic Industrial Devices Malaysia, Rubycon Singapore, Singapore Chemi-con, Nichicon (Singapore) and ELNA Electronics (S).

The CCS probe began after one of the firms filed an application for immunity under its leniency programme. It provisionally found that the firms held regular meetings to exchange commercially sensitive information such as customer quotations, sales volumes, production capacities, business plans and pricing strategies. They took part in agreements to fix, or prevent reducing, capacitor pricesfor customers in the region, including Singapore, to maintain their market share, profits and sales.

The Competition Act bars firms from exchanging commercially sensitive information on price, or engaging in restricting or distorting competition. The five firms have six weeks to make their representations to the CCS, which will then make its final decision.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2017, with the headline '5 component makers accused of price fixing'. Print Edition | Subscribe