Webb on "Backchat" re HK Disneyland, Supermarkets
RTHK, 28-Sep-2020
Competition Commission & Consumer Council call on Government to introduce electricity competition
HK Competition Commission, 21-Sep-2015
Excellent stuff. Won't happen.
Supermarkets: Consumer Council calls for Competition Commission probe
Company media release, 19-Dec-2013
Now you understand why Hutchison Whampoa was trying to sell Park'N Shop. They still have a while to enjoy their margins: the Competition Ordinance was pased in Jun-2012 but won't take effect for some time, so anti-competitive behaviour (if any) is still legal in HK. The Commission was appointed on 1-May-2013 but doesn't even have a web site yet. The Government does not seem anxious to get things moving.
LRC proposes class action mechanism for HK consumersThe full report
HK Government, 28-May-2012
But not for investors, and litigation funding companies will not be permitted. Champerty and maintenance will continue to be illegal - no reform there. Instead the LRC proposes that the Consumer Council should have a monopoly on funding class actions, beefing up the legal aid fund which takes up to 50% of the winnings. Overall, a huge disappointment, and even then, the Government might decide not to adopt the recommendations. HK deserves better.
Class actions for HK
In a potentially huge step forward for access to justice, the Law Reform Commission proposes a class action system for HK. The key issue is litigation funding. Rather than a government-sponsored gatekeeper fund, we need a free-market approach, with contingent legal fees and the abolition of archaic laws against champerty and maintenance, to allow self-funded lawyers and third party funders to bear the risks of loser-pays-costs. Take our opinion poll and tell them what you think! (17-Mar-2010)
Consumer Council's own-goal
In a spectacular own-goal against consumers, the Hong Kong Consumer Council has called for support of the "no-surcharge" rule for credit and charge cards, an anti-competitive rule which other countries have outlawed. It maintains higher consumer prices, boosts card issuers' profits, encourages consumer debt and distorts the payment system against cash and debit cards. It should be outlawed. (23-Aug-2008)
Webb on "Backchat" re the need for a competition law in HK
RTHK, 11-Apr-2005
Hong Kong Needs a Competition Law
In this piece on economic governance, looks at the pressing need for Hong Kong to establish a comprehensive competition law and an authority with investigatory powers, in line with accepted practice in most developed markets. The government-appointed Consumer Council first called for this in 1996, and it is a necessary condition for a World-class City. An edited version of this article first appeared in the Financial Times today in a debate with HKSAR Financial Secretary Antony Leung. (13-Jul-2001)

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