Eastern port alliance competition roadblock
Hong Kong’s Competition Commission has opened an investigation into the newly formed ‘Hong Kong Seaport Alliance’ to assess whether it breaks fair competition rules.
Announced on 9 January, the alliance between Hongkong International Terminals Limited, Modern Terminals Limited, COSCO-HIT Terminals (Hong Kong) Limited, and Asia Container Terminals Limited for the joint operation and management of 23 berths at Kwai Tsing Container Terminals, represents a 95% market share at the Port of Hong Kong.
The Competition Commission stated: “In particular, the Commission is investigating whether the agreement may constitute a contravention of the First Conduct Rule of the Competition Ordinance by preventing, restricting or distorting competition in Hong Kong. The Commission is carrying out this investigation as a matter of priority.”
Drewry analyst Neil Davidson previously told Port Strategy that Hong Kong has 'long been a prime candidate' for a terminal alliance and terminal alliances are slowly being pursued by operators in ports where terminal capacity is fragmented.
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