Halimah Yacob, President of Singapore
PHOTO: Independent.sg

Singapore’s anti-competition watchdog slapped 13 fresh-chicken distributors with penalties, totaling 19.5 million U.S. dollars, in one of the largest price-fixing scandals in the country.

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said it was imposing fines on the companies, which provide fresh whole chickens, chicken parts and processed chicken, for engaging in “anti-competitive agreements’’ in a statement on Wednesday.

A four-year-long investigation by the CCCS found that the suppliers “had engaged in discussions on prices and had also expressly coordinated the amount and timing of price increases of certain fresh chicken products sold in Singapore’’ from 2007 to 2014.

“During these discussions, the parties had also agreed to not compete for each other’s customers,’’ the statement added.

The 13 suppliers have an estimated total turnover of around 500 million Singapore dollars, which accounts for almost 90 per cent of the fresh chicken supply market in Singapore.

Chicken is the most-consumed meat in Singapore, with more than 30 kilogrammes of chicken consumed per person annually.

In addition, the firms have also been instructed to provide written assurance that they will refrain from using the Poultry Merchants’ Association, in which they are all members, or any other industry association as a platform for anti-competitive activities.