PRITAM SINGH: COMPETITION COMMISSION OWES PUBLIC EXPLANATION OVER EM SERVICES

This is a story that should have seen the light of day earlier.

“TWO YEARS AGO, a complaint was made to the Competition Commission of Singapore about (EM Services), a joint venture between the HDB and Keppel Land, sparking an investigation. EM Services was found guilty of refusing to supply spare parts to third party contractors. BUT TWO MONTHS AGO, the company FINALLY AGREED to sell the branded spare parts to third-party lift maintenance contractors.”

What is not mentioned is that EM Services are 75% owned by the HDB, and 25% by Keppel, effectively making EM Services a HDB and government-owned company.
It would appear that a HDB-owned company essentially denied lift parts to other lift maintenance companies that serviced HDB lifts. Would it not be plausible that after a spate of very public lift accidents, EM Services decided to change course to supply spare parts as a result of public concern about lift safety?

The Competition Commission of Singapore will not be taking further action against EM Services in spite of a finding of guilt. It stated in a media release that “following feedback from a public consultation”, it considers EM Services’ commitments to fully address competition concerns.

The Competition Commission of Singapore, being a government statutory board and having decided not to take action against a government-owned company, should release a detailed report on this matter to the public. Or would the release of such a report cause “undue panic”?

Pritam Singh

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