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Malaysia: New leniency rules raise eyebrows

 |  November 27, 2014

Malaysian competition authorities have introduced new guidelines on issuing financial penalties and leniency, say reports, a move that has raised concerns among some experts.

The watchdog, MyCC, released the Guidelines on Financial Penalties that will aid the regulator when sanctioning companies found to have taken part in anticompetitive conduct. The guidelines to not specify which factors will weigh more heavily than others when deciding those fines, but according to reports, the guidelines would promote the introduction of antitrust compliance programs within companies, as the existence of such programs is a mitigating factor when determining penalties.

MyCC also introduced the Guidelines on Leniency; experts say these regulations are, for the most part, in line with international best practices.

But experts also say that these guidelines, while a positive first step, will need to be applied coherently and transparently to be sufficiently effective. This may be difficult as the Guidelines leave room for uncertainty. They do not clarify, for example, whether a company can apply for leniency anonymously, or whether MyCC will require a written confession when companies come forward with evidence of cartel behavior.

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