Hong Kong: Asia Pacific competition highlights | Q1 2022

In brief

Earlier this year, the authority invited interested parties to provide information relevant to its investigation through an online survey. The regulator has similarly invited public comments on passenger car warranty terms and conditions.

This update was published as part of our quarterly newsletter, Asia Pacific Competition Highlights. Click here to access the full report, which covers the most notable antitrust developments across nine Asia Pacific jurisdictions.


Contents

HKCC investigates online food delivery platforms

On 27 January 2022, the Hong Kong Competition Commission (HKCC) invited interested parties to provide information relevant to its investigation into local food delivery platforms through an online dedicated questionnaire. The apparent focus of the investigation is on ascertaining the presence of contractual requirements imposed on partner restaurants which may potentially constitute a contravention of the Competition Ordinance.

The HKCC considers that the following contractual requirements imposed on partner restaurants may potentially soften competition among online food delivery platforms, as well as hinder entry and expansion by new or smaller online food delivery platforms:

  • Exclusivity: requiring or inducing partner restaurants to exclusivity, which discourages them from partnering with other online food delivery platforms.
  • Price fixing: requiring partner restaurants to list menu items at the same (or a lower) price than those offered on the restaurants' own menu and/or on other online food delivery platforms and to allow the food delivery platform to adjust prices.
  • Bundling: requiring partner restaurants that wish to acquire food delivery services to also acquire pick-up services or other services from the food delivery platform.

The online dedicated questionnaire is currently closed for submission, and no further details are available as to the status or next steps of the investigation.

HKCC investigates passenger car warranty terms and conditions

On 3 March 2022, the HKCC invited passenger car owners, independent car repair workshops and other interested parties to provide information relevant to its investigation into car warranty terms and conditions through an online survey.

The apparent focus of the investigation is on ascertaining the presence of restrictions where the validity of passenger car warranties is conditional on the exclusive performance of maintenance and/or repair services at authorized repair centers, regardless of whether the maintenance or repair item is covered by the warranty. In other words, if car owners visit independent car repair workshops during the warranty period, they risk having their warranty voided.

The HKCC considers that these restrictive terms and conditions may deter car owners from using independent car repair workshops during the warranty period, which may potentially soften competition among car repair workshops and unduly reduce car owners' choice of service, resulting in higher prices for maintenance and repair services.

During this ongoing investigation, the HKCC has approached relevant market participants and analyzed these restrictive terms and conditions. The HKCC also notes that the relevant information received via these online survey serves as a further step towards bringing the investigation to a conclusion and formulating an appropriate enforcement outcome.

The online survey is currently closed for submission; no further details are available as to the status or next steps of the investigation.

Related alerts

Australia: Asia Pacific competition highlights | Q1 2022

China: Asia Pacific competition highlights | Q1 2022

Hong Kong: Asia Pacific competition highlights | Q1 2022

Indonesia: Asia Pacific Competition Highlights | Q1 2022

Japan: Asia Pacific Competition Highlights | Q1 2022

Singapore: Asia Pacific competition highlights | Q1 2022

Taiwan: Asia Pacific competition highlights | Q1 2022

Thailand: Asia Pacific competition highlights | Q1 2022

Vietnam: Asia Pacific competition highlights | Q1 2022

 

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