On 12 August 2020, the Competition Commission ("Commission") published proposed commitments from four port terminal operators, namely Hongkong International Terminals Limited, Modern Terminals Limited ("MTL"), COSCO-HIT Terminals (Hong Kong) Limited and Asia Container Terminals Limited (together the “Parties”) in relation to the Hong Kong Seaport Alliance (“Alliance”).
The Commission has conducted an investigation under section 39 of the Competition Ordinance (Cap. 619) (“Ordinance”) into a contractual joint venture between the Parties concerning their joint operations under the Alliance at the Kwai Tsing container port terminal (“Kwai Tsing”) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
The Commission’s investigation found that the Alliance likely gives rise to anti-competitive effects in the market for port terminal services for Gateway cargo, as well as in related markets for the provision of overflow services to the operator of Container Terminal 3 at Kwai Tsing and for the provision of various services at Kwai Tsing to parties other than the shipping lines.
In response to the investigation, the Parties have offered commitments under section 60 of the Ordinance whereby they will:
These proposed commitments would last for up to 8 years from their effective date, with the exception of the proposed commitment for service levels, which would last for the duration of the Alliance. Compliance with the proposed commitments would be monitored by an independent monitoring trustee on behalf of the Commission.
In accordance with the procedure set out in section 2, Schedule 2 to the Ordinance, the Commission invites interested parties to submit representations in writing on the proposed commitments.
In addition to the proposed commitments, the Commission has published an FAQs document to provide further useful information on the relevant provisions mentioned above, the commitments given by the Parties and the consultation.
The documents published are:
Further details on how to submit a representation to the Commission are outlined in the above Notice issued under section 2, Schedule 2 to the Ordinance of the proposed commitments.
The period for accepting representations on the proposed commitments from the Hong Kong Seaport Alliance in Case EC/03AY is now closed.
To view the representations received to date, please click here.