Thai Cabinet Approves Draft Trade Competition Bill
The draft Trade Competition Bill was approved in the cabinet meeting held October 11, 2016. This draft serves as a supplementary version of the existing Trade Competition Act of 1999. The major changes that have been made include the spin- off of the Office of the Trade Competition Commission ( OTCC) from a division under the Department of Internal Trade, the Ministry of Commerce, into an independent state organization, and the inclusion of a fine of 10 percent of the total income of the fiscal year before the year an offense is committed for cartel cases, in addition to the existing criminal penalty of imprisonment for up to three years.
The spin- off is said to eliminate past enforcement issues attributed to political influence, and to provide more flexibility in managing the organization. In addition to the above, mergers and acquisitions that fall within the criteria set out by the Trade Competition Commission must be reported to the OTCC within seven days post- completion of the transaction, instead of obtaining a pre- merger clearance.
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