The Competition Commission has conducted a joint operation with the Hong Kong authorities at the Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market over allegations that wholesalers had engaged in price fixing when selling fisheries products.
According to the official statement, this comes as the antitrust watchdog received a complaint alleging that wholesalers in the fish market engaged in price fixing when selling fisheries products, which violates the First Conduct Rule under the Competition Ordinance. According to law, this rule prohibits undertakings from making, giving effect to or engaging in agreements, concerted practices or decisions with the object or effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition in Hong Kong.
Parties who took part in the operation included the Hong Kong Police, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the Fire Services Department, the Immigration Department and the Marine Department.
During the operation, the Commission sought information relating to the case and surveyed practitioners from over 30 wholesalers at the fish market. The commission said it will work closely with the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau of the Hong Kong Police and other relevant departments on the investigation. No further comment will be made at this stage as the case is still ongoing.
Two anonymous industry representatives, including a merchant, said the market is controlled by alleged triad members ‘to a certain degree’, according to a report by SCMP. Furthermore, the competition watchdog urged the fisheries practitioners and members of the public who can provide information on the case or the practices in the industry to contact them.
"Anticompetitive conduct may sometimes involve elements that contravene not only the ordinance but also different areas of law such as criminal offences. The Commission will continue to work in collaboration with fellow law enforcers to ensure an effective approach in tackling cases involving multiple contraventions," the Commission added.