chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
December 01, 2022

ABA Antitrust Law Section explores timely regional issues at Singapore conference

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2022The American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section will convene its biennial Asian conference on Dec. 8-9, in Singapore, with two full days of in-person programming covering a range of topics, including enforcement, merger control process and remedies, cartel enforcement and unfair trade practices.

2022 Antitrust in Asia
Sponsored by the ABA Antitrust Law Section

Thursday-Friday, Dec. 8-9 (all times local)

Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Marina Square, 5 Raffles Ave.
Singapore 039797

The conference marks the first since 2018, as the 2020 Asian conference was postponed due to the pandemic. In the ensuring years, antitrust enforcement in Asia has continued to expand as competition agencies in China, Korea, India and Japan launch cases of global significance. In addition, newer regimes are beginning to make their mark in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, such as Malaysia and the Philippines.

This year’s conference, which is complimentary to attendees, will draw upon senior enforcers, in-house counsel and practitioners from Asia, as well as the U.S. The meeting represents an important part of the Antitrust Law Section’s expanding outreach to the competition community in Asia.

Sia Aik Kor, chief executive, Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore, will deliver keynote remarks at 9 a.m. on Thursday. Other special programs will include two roundtable discussions with enforcers:

  • ·       “Asia-Pacific Enforcers Roundtable” — Antitrust enforcement in Asia has expanded in recent years and, with increased globalization, has become more critical to companies operating around the world. Senior officials at several of the most prominent competition enforcement agencies in Asia will provide their outlook on today’s environment.
    • Chen Chih-Min (Andy), vice-chairperson, Taiwan Fair Trade Commission, Taipei City
    • Tetsuya Fujimoto, director general of Economic Affairs Bureau, Japan Fair Trade Commission, Tokyo
    • Manish Mohan Govil, adviser (law), Competition Commission of India, New Delhi
    •  Andrew J. Heimert, counsel for Asian Competition Affairs, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C., (moderator)

Thursday, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

  • “ASEAN Enforcers Roundtable” — The role and importance of antitrust enforcement in ASEAN member nations continues to grow, accelerated by a mutual pledge to adopt and implement competition laws. The panel will bring together senior officials from several ASEAN competition agencies to discuss their agency’s work and the development of competition law throughout ASEAN.

    • Iskandar Ismail, chief executive officer, Malaysia Competition Commission, Kuala Lumpur
    • Christian B. de los Santos, acting director of the Competition Enforcement Office, Philippine Competition Commission, Quezon City
    • Sia Aik Kor, chief executive, Competition and Consumer Commission, Singapore
    • Sakon Varanyuwatana, chairman, Trade Competition Commission Thailand, Bangkok
    • Brent Snyder, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, San Francisco, California (moderator)

Friday, 9-10:15 a.m.

Other programs on Thursday include:

  • “Merger Control Processes and Remedies” — More Asian nations are conducting meaningful merger reviews, each with different procedures, timing and even substantive approaches. The panel will explore how to navigate the challenges of merger review in multiple countries.
    11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Beyond Antitrust: Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection” — Several Asian jurisdictions have provisions in their antitrust law prohibiting unfair trade practices, including “abuse of a superior bargaining position.” Privacy can also seep into the mix of enforcement responsibilities. These issues typically go beyond the traditional tasks of antitrust to promote fairness and, potentially, consumer protection. The panel looks at tools to investigate and address those concerns in Asia.
    1:15-2:30 p.m.           
  • “Asian Leniency Programs and Cartel Enforcement” — Leniency programs in Asia have triggered some of the largest global cartel investigations. Enforcers and practitioners will describe the state of leniency programs across Asia and what, if any, impact the perceived slowdown in applications and/or enforcement out of Washington and Brussels has on Asian leniency application activity.
    2:45-4 p.m.
  • “Hot Topics” — In a world of rapid-paced changes in the economy, technology, ESG, (environmental, social and governance) and antitrust, panels arranged months in advance may not capture the latest important topics. This one, however, will. On tap are the most timely and relevant enforcement and policy developments in Asia.
    4-5:15 p.m.      

Additional programming on Friday includes:

  • “Navigating Procedural Challenges in Asia” — Legal traditions in Asia can be different from those in the U.S. Administrative litigation with limited protections for defendants, limitations on legal privileges and aggressive timetables are among the significant differences. Panelists will discuss challenges and strategies for coping with these issues, whether during prosecuting or defending against antitrust challenges to business activity.
    10:30-11:45 a.m.
  • “Digital Platforms and Approaches to Technology Markets in Asia-Pacific” — Enforcers around Asia, like elsewhere, have taken an interest in digital platforms, which present a variety of challenges for traditional competition law principles. The panel examines whether new approaches are in order, and whether enforcers and legislators should consider new tools either through regulatory changes or new legislation.
    1-2:15 p.m.
  • “Roundtable Discussion on Asia-Pacific Antitrust”— Does the Asian-Pacific (APAC) region possess a unique common stripe of antitrust enforcement and policy that defines a distinct brand? The experts discuss this, and whether the movement toward antitrust populism taking shape in the U.S. and Europe will take hold in the APAC region as well.
    2:30-4 p.m.                  

The full agenda, including speakers, is here. Media are welcome to attend but must register in advance by 5 p.m. EST, Tuesday, Dec. 6, by emailing [email protected]. ABA COVID protocols will be in effect, and details will be mailed to those who register.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.