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.