Number of complaints on lift spare parts has dropped since CCCS probe

Town councils can choose to appoint the original lift company or engage a third-party to maintain the Housing Board lifts in their estate.
Town councils can choose to appoint the original lift company or engage a third-party to maintain the Housing Board lifts in their estate.PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Mr Ronnie Lim Ah Bee for his views in his letter (Do more to prevent anti-competitive acts; Jan 21).

Town councils can choose to appoint the original lift company or engage a third-party to maintain the Housing Board lifts in their estate.

If lift companies refuse to provide essential lift spare parts and their actions prevent third-party contractors from competing for lift maintenance contracts in HDB estates, then these lift companies may be in breach of the Competition Act for abuse of a dominant position.

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) is investigating a number of lift companies which have allegedly refused to supply lift spare parts for maintenance in HDB estates since 2016.

The companies under investigation can offer voluntary commitments which are legal undertakings to supply lift parts to address competition concerns.

To date, we have accepted such voluntary commitments from three lift companies and this is deemed sufficient to address our concerns.

CCCS is seeking public feedback on the commitments offered by two other lift companies.

Since the start of CCCS' investigation, the number of complaints about the inability to secure lift spare parts has fallen.

As for the inability to obtain car parts in the motor industry, which Mr Lim also touched on in his letter, CCCS' checks has revealed this not to be the case.

Car parts distributors and car workshops are generally able to obtain parts from a large number of suppliers in Singapore and abroad.

To this end, CCCS has followed up with Mr Lim on this aspect of his feedback.

CCCS will continue to detect anti-competitive conduct and, where appropriate, mete out necessary directions, including financial penalty.

Herbert Fung

Director (Business and Economics)

Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2019, with the headline 'Number of complaints on lift spare parts has dropped since CCCS probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe