In this article we cover several key parts of the Cambodian law on competition, including Formalities and Procedure of Negotiated Settlement and Formalities of Investigation and Inspection. For more information about Cambodian competition law, view our free-to-use library of laws section on our platform or get in contact with our team today.
What is the law on Formalities and Procedure of Negotiated Settlement under the Law on Competition?
The current law on competition prakas for negotiated settlement were initially passed on 4th November 2022 in order to set out the formalities and procedures of negotiated settlement for offenses under the Law on Competition. The law on competition was set out with the purpose of:
- Encouraging a quick and appropriate settlement procedure
- Ensuring flexibility with effective outcomes
- Reducing the burden of expenses incurred in an investigation as below
What is the scope of the law on Formalities and Procedure of Negotiated Settlement under the Law on Competition and which competent authorities does it involve?
This Prakas applies to the negotiated settlement established by any person (“Person under Investigation”) suspected of violating the Law on Competition (the “Settlement Agreement”).
The competent authorities to conduct the Negotiated Settlement Procedure are:
Consumer Protection Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (“CCF”); and Cambodia Competition Commission (“CCC”).
What is the procedure for the Formalities of Negotiated Settlement under law on competition?
The Negotiated Settlement Procedure shall commence as follows:
- To request for a Negotiated Settlement Procedure
- To conduct of the Negotiated Settlement Procedure
- To finish the Negotiated Settlement Procedure; and
- To make a discretionary decision of CCC on Negotiated Settlement Procedure.
The Negotiated Settlement Procedure shall comply with the following requirements:
- During the preliminary examination, the investigating officer may inform the Person Under Investigation of the option to file a request for a Negotiated Settlement Procedure.
- If the Person under Investigation requests for a Negotiated Settlement Procedure, the Person under Investigation shall submit an application for a Negotiated Settlement Procedure.
- Upon receipt of such application, the investigating officer has full discretion to decide whether or not to permit a Negotiated Settlement Procedure.
What are the Key Steps of the Negotiated Settlement Procedure under Cambodian law on competition?
The key steps of the Negotiated Settlement Procedure are as follows:
- The investigating officer may discuss with the Person under Investigation about the acts of violation, the corrective actions, the compensation and the future actions.
- The investigating officer may share with the Person under Investigation about the facts, sanctions, responsibilities, evidences and case file and the estimated fines.
- The investigating officer shall serve a notice to all parties at least 7 working days prior to the commencement of the Negotiated Settlement Procedure.
At the end of the Negotiated Settlement Procedure, the Person under Investigation has 15 working days to submit a written document stipulating the obligations, warranty, undertakings, and commitments to the investigating officer (the “Undertaking”).
The investigating officer shall conduct a preliminary review on the Undertaking within 15 working days upon receipt and the Person under Investigation has 14 working days to amend and re-submit the Undertaking.
How do you know the Negotiated Settlement Procedure has been completed under Cambodian law on competition?
Completion of the Negotiated Settlement Procedure will be when a Negotiated Settlement Procedure is deemed to come to an end when it is deemed either a Successful Negotiated Settlement Procedure; or an Unsuccessful Negotiated Settlement Procedure.
In either case, the investigating officer shall make a report on the outcome of the Negotiation Settlement to the CCC. Please note, the CCC has full discretion to make a decision either to accept or to deny the report on the Negotiated Settlement Procedure submitted by the investigating officer or it may also require the investigating officer to reopen the Negotiated Settlement Procedure.
For execution, the CCF shall review and monitor the compliance for fulfillment of conditions as set forth in the decision of the CCC.
What is the law on Formalities of Investigation and Inspection under the Law on Competition
This was originally passed on the 4th November 2022 under the Cambodian law on competition, in order to set out the investigation procedures on the competition offenses (“Offenses”) that prevent, restrict, or distort competition. This comes in forms of
- Horizontal Agreement, which is an agreement between the business operators at the same level in production and distribution chains
- Vertical Agreement, which is made between the business operators at the different level in production and distribution chains
- Abuses of dominant position refers to any person using its dominant market position to significantly prevent, restrict or distort competition in a Market
- Business Combination that has the effect of significantly preventing, restricting or distorting competition.
What is the Investigation Process under the Cambodian law on competition?
The Process is as follows:
- Filing of a written complaint: Any person may file a written complaint to the Cambodia Competition Commission (“CCC”) or the complaint may be initiated by the CCC
- Preliminary Examination:
a. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (“CCF”) shall appoint the investigating officers to commence the preliminary examination to determine whether or not the reported agreement or activity has reasonable grounds of suspicious for any Offense.
b. Upon completion of the preliminary examination, the investigating officers shall provide a written report for the CCC to issue a preliminary decision on the opening of the full investigation.
- Commencement and completion of the investigation:
a. After the issuance of the decision to conduct the full investigation, the CCC shall establish a committee to examine and investigate on the case through deliberating, interrogating, and hearing.
b. Upon the completion of investigation, the investigating officers shall provide a written report to the responsible committee to formulate a final report with recommendations to the CCC for issuing the decision.
Rights and Obligations of Investigating Officer
- The investigating officer as the judicial police shall have the rights to request for information, to summon, to enter into the premise for search, to seal on exhibits, and to request for cooperation from any competent authority.
- The investigating officer shall have the obligations to keep all confidential information, maintain seized exhibits, return the seized exhibits, disclose his or her identity and the purpose of the investigation.
Rights of Person under Investigation
The person under investigation has rights to submit statement of defence and cooperate with the investigating officers for performing the investigation by not destroying any document or refusing to address the questions or avoiding of doing any actions. Otherwise, the person under investigation shall be responsible for any criminal liability.