Competition Commission of Singapore probing 5 capacitor manufacturers for price fixing

The five manufacturers are being investigated for price fixing of Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitors. PHOTO: CCS

SINGAPORE - The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) on Thursday (April 6) issued a Proposed Infringement Decision against five capacitor manufacturers for alleged price fixing and the exchanging of confidential business information.

The five manufacturers are: Panasonic Industrial Devices Singapore and Panasonic Industrial Devices Malaysia; Rubycon Singapore; Singapore Chemi-con; Nichicon (Singapore); and ELNA Electronics (S).

CCS began investigations after one of the manufacturers confessed its involvement to CCS, asking for immunity under CCS' Leniency Programme, which gives lenient treatment to those who are part of a cartel agreement but come forward to provide information on it.

It found that the manufacturers held regular meetings in Singapore where they exchanged confidential and commercially sensitive business information such as customer quotations, sales volumes, production capacities, business plans and pricing strategies.

They also discussed and agreed on sales prices, including various prices increases, and agreed to reject customers' requests collectively for reduction in prices of Aluminium Electrolytic Capacitors sold to them in the Asean region, including Singapore.

The manufacturers sold AECs - electrical components used in electrical devices such as computers and domestic appliances - to customers such as original equipment manufacturers, electronic manufacturing service providers, distributors that resell capacitors, and international procurement offices based in Singapore that procure and supply capacitors to customers in and outside of Singapore.

The manufacturers are suspected of infringing section 34 of the Competition Act.

Under the Act, competitors should not enter into any agreement, exchange commercially sensitive information on prices, or engage in any concerted practice to prevent, restrict or distort competition. They should, instead, independently determine their respective conduct on the market.

The five manufacturers have six weeks to make their representations to CCS, thereafter CCS will make its final decision after careful consideration, CCS said.

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