Two ferry operators fined $288,000 for anti-competitive behaviour
Two ferry operators have been fined a total of about $288,000 ($286,766) for anti-competitive behaviour.
Batam Fast Ferry was fined about $173,000, while Penguin Ferry Services was made to pay nearly $114,000 for breaching the Competition Act.
The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) said on Wednesday, that they shared the quotes they offered to corporate clients and travel agents on two routes.
The information should have been kept confidential.
The routes between Singapore (HabourFront) - Sekupang and Singapore (HarbourFront) - Batam Centre, were served by the two operators.
The watchdog said the two operators would frequently verify their pricing with one another.
Mr Toh Han Li, Assistant Chief Executive of Legal and Enforcement said: "In one particular case, with regard to corporate clients, after one competitor found that the other was charging a certain amount, he decided not to offer a discount to his client because he did not want to engage in a price war."
The price of a return ticket listed in one of the email exchanges was $44.
Tickets sold over the counter were priced at $47 each.
The watchdog added that these actions encourage collusion and reduce the incentive to set independent pricing decisions competitively.
The CCS said the price exchanges "further reduce the already limited competition in a duopolistic market structure".
Toh Han Li, Assistant Chief Executive of Legal and Enforcement at CCS, elaborates.
"This is the first information exchange case which CCS has imposed liability on so we set fines at relatively low levels based on the turnover of the parties. I would say that generally they parties were cooperative and the level of fines reflect that."
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