KUALA LUMPUR: The Competition Appeal Tribunal set aside the RM10 million fines on airlines MAS and Airasia over an alleged anti-competitive market-sharing agreement.
The tribunal, headed by its president Datuk Hasnah Mohamed Hashim, unanimously allowed the appeal by the two air carriers against the fines imposed by the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) two years ago.
The tribunal, also comprised of former Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor, Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob, Tan Sri Dr Lin See-Yan and Dr Wan Liza Md Amin, ordered the MyCC to refund the RM10 million fines to MAS and Airasia.
On March 31, 2014, MyCC ruled that MAS and AirAsia had violated the prohibition against market-sharing agreement under Section 4(2)(b) of the Competition Act 2010.
The anti-competitive practice watchdog declared that the two airlines had made an agreement to share the market in Malaysia's air transport services sector.
Under the Competition Act, MyCC is empowered to fine both air carriers 10 per cent of their global revenue for contravening the law.
However it was reported that MyCC imposed a far lesser fine as both airlines had co-operated during investigations.
The RM10 million fines were based on flights carried out by MAS and AirAsia in a four-month period from Jan 1 to April 30, 2012, encompassing the Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur-Kuching, Kuala Lumpur-Sandakan and Kuala Lumpur-Sibu routes.