PIAM to appeal MyCC’s finding that it infringed Competition Act

The General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) says it will be appealing against the Malaysian Competition Commission’s (MyCC) decision that it infringed the Competition Act 2010 in connection with motor vehicle repairs.

The appeal is in relation to MyCC’s final decision against PIAM and general insurers on trade discounts on automotive parts prices and hourly labour rates for motor vehicle repairs by workshops under PIAM’s Approved Repairers Scheme.

“PIAM and its members are profoundly disappointed by the final decision issued by MyCC on Sept 14, 2020, against PIAM and 22 general insurers.

“MyCC found that PIAM and the insurers had infringed the Competition Act 2010 in relation to an arrangement between PIAM and the Federation of Automobile Workshop Owners’ Association of Malaysia (Fawoam) on the minimum hourly labour rates and spare part prices for six commonly used vehicles namely Proton, Perodua, Naza, Nissan, Toyota and Honda,” PIAM said in a statement issued on Wednesday (Sept 30).

It said PIAM and its members had always placed the motoring public and policyholders at the forefront and had provided clear evidence to resolve the prolonged dispute.

“To safeguard the interests of consumers, PIAM, working under the direction of Bank Negara Malaysia, agreed with Fawoam to resolve the prolonged dispute between insurers and repairers over spare parts trade discounts and labour rates,” the association added.

PIAM said it had tendered clear and robust evidence to MyCC that the arrangement with Fawoam brought benefits to consumers, in terms of faster turnaround time for repairs, less complaints and growth in the numbers of repairers

“The independent economist’s report by RBB Economics UK was presented by their economist in person before the commission on two occasions.

“The RBB report presented clear and robust tangible evidence of how consumers have benefited from this agreement,” PIAM said.

PIAM said that it had acted in good faith to resolve the issue with the expectation that a thorough consideration would be given by MyCC on the evidence and arguments presented.

“After three years, PIAM is deeply disappointed that MyCC has released a decision that does not fully take into consideration the voluminous evidence tendered and legal arguments submitted.

“MyCC’s decision rejects legal and regulatory certainty and is a decision against consumers and the motoring public of Malaysia.

“PIAM will lodge a strong appeal against the decision,” the statement said.

In February 2017, MyCC announced a proposed decision against PIAM and the 22 members over the agreement with Fawoam which would have seen a RM213.4mil penalty imposed by the anti-competition body.