NTUC Foodfare-Kopitiam merger: Some food for thought

NTUC Foodfare, a foodcourt at the Marina Bay Financial Centre.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

In a country where consumers care a great deal about the price and quality of their "quick service" cooked food options, Singaporeans ought to pay some attention to the implications of the proposed acquisition of Kopitiam's foodcourts, coffee shops and hawker centres by NTUC Enterprise. Given that the latter controls NTUC Foodfare, which competes with Kopitiam in the same markets, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has sought public feedback to assess the likely effects of this merger on competition in the markets for the sale of cooked food to individual consumers and the rental of stalls to vendors within these food outlets.

Does a transaction of this nature raise competition-related issues? Absolutely. Any merger which reduces the number of previously independent competitors in the market, resulting in the creation of a larger economic entity with greater market power, will alter the competition landscape.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2018, with the headline 'Some food for thought'. Subscribe