The Hong Kong Competition Commission has opened an investigation to assess whether the recently created alliance between several container terminal operators may restrict competition in Hong Kong.
Earlier this month, COSCO-HIT Terminals (Hong Kong) Limited (CHT), Asia Container Terminals (ACT), Hongkong International Terminals (HIT) and Modern Terminals Limited (MTL) agreed to create the Hong Kong Seaport Alliance.
The companies plan to jointly operate and manage their 23 berths across 8 terminals at Kwai Tsing, New Territories, Hong Kong, in order to better use terminals and enhance their competitiveness.
In response to the alliance agreement, the Hong Kong Competition Commission has launched an investigation into the matter.
“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 said.
“The commission is carrying out this investigation as a matter of priority. The opening of a formal investigation does not prejudge its outcome.”