KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 – The Malaysia Competition Commission’s (MyCC) recent warning against price-fixing by school bus operators appears to have fallen on deaf ears. The president of the Federation of Malaysian School Bus Operators Associations, Mohd Rofik Mohd Yusof, was quoted in a local daily that some 18,000 bus operators nationwide under the federation have collectively agreed to increase its fares by 30 percent starting next year.
In a statement Thursday, MyCC said previously, its chairman, Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob, has said such behaviour was against Section 4 of the Competition Act 2010 and warned bus operators to independently decide on their bus fare structures and not fix bus fare structures together. Section 4 of the Act prohibits enterprises, including associations, from fixing, directly or indirectly a purchase or selling price or any other trading conditions for goods and services.
MyCC CEO, Shila Dorai Raj, said any association members found taking part in agreeing to collectively fix the prices were infringing the Act and could be imposed a financial penalty of up to 10 percent of their turnover. The commission said price increases were not anti-competitive in nature but if the increases were a result of collusion through price-fixing agreements by any associations or any groups of sellers, suppliers or manufacturers, such cartel-like activity was a serious contravention of the Act.
“Following the de-regulation of school bus fare structures by the Land Transport Commission, school bus operators are to independently decide the fares based on their own individual estimation of operating costs, rather than having to subscribe to a fixed fare structure,” it said. It said those who have information concerning conduct by associations and business enterprises who are or have engaged in price fixing activities should contact the MyCC at +603-2273 2277 or via email at [email protected]