Thailand: Insight Into The New Trade Competition Act

Last Updated: 26 February 2018
Article by Pornapa Thaicharoen and Ampika Kumar

The Trade Competition Act aims to resolve delays and failures in enforcing the competition law in Thailand for the past 18 years.


On 5 October 2017, the new Trade Competition Act B.E. 2560 (2017) (the New Act) came into effect. The New Act has repealed and replaced the Trade Competition Act B.E. 2542 (1999) (the Previous Act) in its entirety. It aims to resolve delays and failures in enforcing the competition law in Thailand for the past 18 years.

What has changed?

The New Act covers the same general areas as the Previous Act, such as restrictions on the abuse of dominant positions, anti-competitive mergers, unfair trade practices, as well as restrictive agreements or practices among business operators. Key changes include the following:

  • The introduction of an independent status for the Office of Trade Competition Commission (the "OTCC") and a new structure and composition for the Trade Competition Board. Under the New Act, the OTCC will be recognized as an independent agency, instead of a government agency or state enterprise. OTCC will comprise individuals without political and business ties, to minimize interference. It is believed that this change will enhance the enforcement of the trade competition law in Thailand significantly.
  • The inclusion of state-owned enterprises into the ambit of the New Act. However, this excludes state-owned enterprise activities that are backed by the law or a Cabinet resolution, and were created to benefit national security and the public. Previously, state-owned enterprises are exempt from the restrictions under the Current Act.
  • The amendments made to the merger control scheme, which now requires both a pre-merger approval and post-merger notification. Mergers that may result in a substantial reduction of competition must be reported within seven days from the date of the merger, while mergers that may result in a monopoly, or a dominant business operator, must obtain prior approval. Subordinated legislation will have to be issued to ensure the effectiveness of merger regulations.
  • The Trade Competition Board is obliged to announce subordinate regulations — including merger control regulations — within 365 days after the law comes into effect. The subordinate announcements or regulations under the Previous Act, such as the criteria in defining dominant positions, will remain in force to the extent that they do not contradict the new law. This shall be the case until new regulations are announced.
  • The introduction of new concepts, such as recognizing a group of companies as a single economic unit. Another concept is with regard to leniency program.
  • The separation of provisions and liabilities for hardcore cartels and non-hardcore cartels.
  • The introduction of high fines as administrative penalties.

In the next issue of our newsletters on this act, we will discuss the structure of the OTCC and the Trade Competition Commission in detail, as well as the potential impact of the new law.


The new Trade Competition Act, which came into effect on 5 October 2017 (the New Act), boasts greater enforceability of competition law in Thailand, especially with a major change in the Trade Competition Board (the Board). But the real question is: can greater enforceability be achieved?

In Volume 2 of the New Trade Competition Act, we will take you through the Board's structure and composition under the New Act.

Old Board vs New Board

What could be achieved with this new Board?


  • Being its own separate entity and having budgetary responsibility means that the Board will have more independence in conducting reviews and processing complaints from the public. The Board no longer has to rely on the Department of Internal Trade to function.

Absence of political and business influence

  • Perhaps the most apparent of all changes, the members of the new Board cannot be political, business, or governmental figures. The criteria for selecting the members of the old Board inherently led to the members having either personal, political or business ties with giant corporates, which normally would be entities that the very Act intended to regulate.


  • With only the ability to send a request to the public prosecutor for prosecution, it is not surprising that none of the alleged anti-competition cases, under the Old Act, ever made it before a court. The New Act promises greater authority of the New Board, particularly, that it may impose substantial administrative fines at its discretion. The Board may also request the Attorney-General, in addition to the public prosecutor, to file a criminal case.


  • The New Act prescribes that the Board gives the public and stakeholders a forum to provide their opinions, with regard to any regulation it will issue.

Will the new structure lead to greater enforceability?

The structure, composition, and powers of the New Board seem promising and it is expected that greater efficiency and transparency can be achieved with this change. However, whether or not this new Act will indeed be a tiger with teeth, as it sets out to be, will also depend on several other matters including the subordinated legislations to be passed under this New Act.

In the next volume of this series, we will discuss whether market dominance is necessarily a bad thing. Stay tuned.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions