ISLAMABAD, 21 MARCH 2013: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has been short-listed by the Global Competition Review (GCR) in the category of ‘Agency of the Year Award’ for the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. It has also been nominated in the category of ‘Behavioral Matter of the Year’ — Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa region for its decision to grant leniency to Siemans in the case of collusive bidding by members of Pakistan Electrical Power Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA).
The London-based Global Competition Review (GCR) is a leading international anti-trust and competition law journal and is widely consulted by competition authorities, lawyers and academicians. The Awards aim to recognize the achievements of teams and individuals from private practice firms, academic organizations and competition authorities in 2012. Around 140 nominations are gathered by the GCR with the winners being decided by votes cast by GCR readers. The CCP was short-listed for the awards without any participation at its end which is indicative of the level of international recognition for its work.
It is pertinent to mention here that this is the CCP’s second nomination for the Agency of the Year Award having been nominated in the same category in 2012 as well, which just speaks of the agency’s performance. The efforts of CCP also received recognition by the GCR, in 2011, and it achieved the distinction of being the only new entrant to be granted a rating of 2½ stars out of five in the GCR “Rating Enforcement’ for being an effective enforcer in the year 2010 despite being only three years old at that time.
This year for the Agency of the Year Award, CCP has been short-listed alongside three other agencies out of 42 agencies in the region. CCP is the only agency out of last year’s shortlisted agencies of the region, i.e. China’s Ministry of Commerce, Korea’s Fair Trade Commission, China’s National Development & Reform Commission and Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission, to be shortlisted again for the award. CCP will be primarily judged based on its enforcement activities in 2012. During the period under review CCP issued 10 orders, 23 show cause notices and 7 enquiry reports besides reviewing 51 merger/acquisition/joint venture cases and authoring a number of policy opinions for the Government.
The ‘Behavioral Matter of the Year’, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, is awarded based on a particular strategy adopted, by the Competition Authority, that deals with a situation in a manner that is innovative and takes into account country specific conditions. The decision by the CCP to grant leniency to Siemens- whereby the company acknowledged that it had colluded in a cartel of power distribution equipment manufacturers- was hailed as a historic achievement by the media terming it as ‘phenomenal’ and a ‘regulatory breakthrough’. The Chairperson CCP was of the view that the decision was a major victory for the CCP as it ‘not only reflects confidence in the agency but also reflects establishment of its writ which has been under attack since its inception’. The Chairperson noted that that even in developed countries like those in the EU and US, leniency applications were not filed as swiftly as in this case after the drafting of the respective regulations, and she attributes this achievement to her remarkable team and the excellent quality of evidence and enquiry report produced.
The winners of this year’s awards will be announced, by the GCR, on 9th April, 2013.