Singapore: Proposed Changes To The Competition Commission Of Singapore's Guidelines: What You Need To Know

Last Updated: 3 March 2016
Article by Lim Chong Kin, Scott Clements and Corinne Chew

On 25 September 2015, the Competition Commission of Singapore ("CCS"), announced a consultation process on proposed amendments to its existing guidelines.

CCS has previously issued 13 sets of guidelines:

(a) CCS Guidelines on the Major Provisions;

(b) CCS Guidelines on the Section 34 Prohibition;

(c) CCS Guidelines on the Section 47 Prohibition;

(d) CCS Guidelines on the Substantive Assessment of Mergers;

(e) CCS Guidelines on Merger Procedures 2012;

(f) CCS Guidelines on Market Definition;

(g) CCS Guidelines on the Powers of Investigation;

(h) CCS Guidelines on Enforcement;

(i) CCS Guidelines on Lenient Treatment for Undertakings Coming Forward with Information on Cartel Activity Cases 2009;

(j) CCS Guidelines on Filing Notifications for Guidance or Decision with respect to the Section 34 Prohibition and Section 47 Prohibition;

(k) CCS Guidelines on the Appropriate Amount of Penalty;

(l) CCS Guidelines on the Treatment of Intellectual Property Rights; and

(m) CCS Guidelines on Competition Impact Assessment for Government Agencies.

Whilst not statements of law, the guidelines generally outline how CCS will administer and enforce the provisions of the Competition Act (Cap.50B) ("Act"), and are an important reference point for businesses and practitioners.

In the current consultation process, changes are proposed to a large number of the guidelines. We have set out below a practical guide for businesses to understand some of the key changes, and where relevant, the potential impact that these proposed changes might have.

A NEW GUIDELINE: FAST-TRACK PROCEDURE FOR SECTION 34 AND SECTION 47 CASES

A key feature of the consultation process is the introduction of a proposed fast-track procedure, which represents a fundamental new development, rather than a revision of the existing guidelines. The fast-track procedure essentially provides an avenue for parties to admit liability for infringements of the Act (and comply with various other conditions), and in return, the party will receive a reduction in the amount of financial penalty to be imposed (which is set at 10% of the penalty that would otherwise be imposed). CCS has also highlighted that parties will additionally benefit from a shorter, expedited investigative timeframe.

CCS has stated that the fast- track procedure will be initiated by CCS in appropriate cases (as determined on a case-by-case basis). Parties have the option to agree to the fast-track procedure, but are not under an obligation to agree to it.

CCS has indicated that to allow parties under investigation to determine whether they wish the fast-track procedure to take effect, discussions will take place with CCS regarding the scope and gravity of the conduct, including identifying the infringements upon which CCS contemplates making a decision, how the reduction in financial penalty for the fast-track procedure will be applied, and the possible range and quantum of financial penalties.

The fast-track procedure outlines that the reduction in financial penalties that can be gained from the fast-track procedure are in addition to any potential reductions in financial penalties that a party might stand to gain through the use of CCS's leniency programme.

The procedure also states that CCS envisages that in general, the fast- track procedure will be applied only when all parties under investigations in the appropriate case agree to the fast-track procedure.

How the changes might impact you

The procedure represents an interesting development and option for parties under investigation. The fact that parties will need to admit liability in order to qualify for the fast-track procedure is significant and this factor may be particularly relevant in the context of abuse of dominance cases, where it is usually much more unclear as to whether the conduct in question is a breach of the law, especially early on in the investigation. With that said, abuse of dominance investigations can be lengthy and complicated, which may increase the attractiveness of a fast-track option.

Another critical consequence of admitting liability is that it potentially exposes the party in question to follow-on actions for damages by parties that have suffered loss or damage directly as a result of the infringing conduct. Accordingly, whilst weighing the benefit of a potential reduction in possible financial penalties against the time and cost involved in a full investigation, parties will also need to factor in the potential exposure to private damages claims.

How the procedure will play out in practice remains to be seen, but it is clear that the system will run parallel to the leniency system, which may give rise to interesting questions for undertakings as to whether they apply for leniency or seek to fast-track the case, or both.

GUIDELINES ON LENIENT TREATMENT

CCS's leniency programme essentially incentivizes cartel participants to come forward with information and evidence of an anti-competitive arrangement, in return for lenient treatment in the context of the investigation. In relation to CCS's enforcement decisions to date, many parties have benefitted from the programme in receiving total immunity from financial penalties, or a substantial reduction in such.

One of the biggest changes to CCS's guidelines on leniency is the introduction of two further criteria in order to qualify for leniency. In particular, the CCS has stated that the party seeking leniency must grant a waiver of confidentiality to CCS in respect of any jurisdiction where the applicant has also applied for leniency or any other regulatory authority which it has informed of the conduct. In addition, a further condition is that the party unconditionally admits to the conduct for which leniency is sought and details the extent to which this had an impact in Singapore by preventing, restricting or distorting competition.

In addition to the new criteria, CCS has also tweaked the other criteria applying to leniency applications, though such changes are arguably of lesser consequence.

This guideline also goes into significant detail with regard to the actual procedures for requesting a marker and leniency. In particular, CCS outlines in much greater detail the procedure that should be followed in order to be granted a leniency marker, conditional leniency, and then ultimately immunity or leniency, which represent the three key milestones in the process.

CCS has also provided further detail on when information provided in the course of a leniency application may be disclosed to third parties. In particular, CCS has stated that information provided to CCS will be accessible to addressees of any provisional infringement decision, provided that the addressee undertakes not to make any copy by mechanical or electronic means.

How the changes might impact you

CCS's new condition that applicants must admit liability is an interesting development. There are many situations where it is unclear as to whether particular conduct constitutes an infringement of competition law, and many situations where it may be difficult to determine whether conduct has actually given rise to an adverse impact in Singapore. Moreover, an admission of liability opens the door for private actions for damages against the party, which might have the counter-productive effect of making parties more hesitant in wanting to apply for leniency.

The increased level of detail provided on the procedures relating to leniency applications has obviously been distilled from CCS's practice in dealing with such applications over the years, and provides further clarity on the concrete steps that parties will need to take to qualify for leniency.

GUIDELINES ON THE SECTION 34 PROHIBITION

The most notable change to this guideline is in relation to the meaning of what constitutes a restriction of competition by "object".

First, CCS has specifically noted that the words "object" or "effect" are alternative and not cumulative requirements.

Secondly, CCS has set out that it will assess other factors in order to determine whether a particular arrangement constitutes a restriction of competition by object, including the content of the agreement and the objective aims pursued by it.

Thirdly, and notably, CCS has stated that should it find that particular types of arrangements restrict competition by object, then it will consider such conduct to restrict competition by an appreciable extent. Previously, assumptions that agreements will be regarded as restrictive of competition to an appreciable extent was reserved for the four hard-core offences (ie price fixing, market sharing, bid-rigging and output limitation).

CCS also provides more detail on how it will assess instances of information sharing (both of price information and non-price information). This further explanation mirrors CCS's approach in its enforcement decision involving ferry operators in 2012, where CCS determined that the exchange of forward looking price information was a restriction of competition by object. In particular, CCS has highlighted that the unilateral disclosure of information by one undertaking to another might constitute a prohibited concerted practice, if the other party requests the information or at the very least accepts it. CCS goes on to highlight that the receiving party would need to respond with a clear statement that it does not wish to receive such information, otherwise it may be held liable in any enforcement proceedings.

Another proposed change involves a specific mention that price recommendations by trade or professional associations may be harmful to competition because they create focal points for prices to converge, restrict independent pricing decisions and signal to market players in respect of how their competitors might act. This change reflects the position taken by CCS in previous decisions such as its decision in respect of the Singapore Medical Association's Guidelines on Fees for Doctors in Private Practice, which it considered would contravene section 34 of the Act.

CCS has also included some further explanation as to what constitutes a vertical arrangement (which are excluded from consideration under section 34 of the Act), and outlined that the existence of a vertical agreement does not preclude the existence of a horizontal agreement. Again, this change provides further clarification to businesses seeking to better understand the application of the exclusion provided to vertical agreements, but does not represent a fundamental new approach.

How the changes might impact you

Most of the proposed changes to this guideline are clarifications and appear to be made to reflect CCS's current decisional practice. The changes relating to vertical agreements and guidelines on fees can be seen as clarifications, rather than fundamental moves in policy or approach.

CCS's proposed revisions relating to when it will consider that an agreement might restrict competition by object has the potential to make it easier for CCS to take enforcement actions under the prohibition, and arguably narrows the defences that might be available to parties under investigation. How these changes take effect practically remains to be seen.

In terms of information sharing, the proposed changes highlight that should businesses receive information from competitors (even unsolicited information), a clear rejection of this information should be made. Passive receipt of the information in the absence of any formal agreement relating to how the information will be used is not sufficient to absolve the receiving party from responsibility.

GUIDELINES ON THE SECTION 47 PROHIBITION

A key change to these guidelines is the inclusion of the legal test for abuse of dominance, as was determined by the Competition Appeal Board in 2012, in hearing the appeal of SISTIC.com Ltd in relation to CCS's infringement finding against it. Specifically, CCS states that CCS will take an effects-based assessment as to whether the conduct "has, or is likely to have, an adverse effect on the process of competition".

CCS has also added an indication that it may use a counterfactual analysis as a tool for assessing abuse of dominance (albeit that this is not a legal requirement). A counterfactual is essentially a hypothetical "with and without" comparison, often used by competition authorities worldwide for trying to determine the effects of the conduct in question.

How the changes might impact you

Whilst the inclusion of the legal test determined for abuse of dominance provides more detail than the original draft of the guidelines, it is still unclear as to when an "adverse effect on the process of competition" would be established. It remains unclear as to exactly how an adverse effect on the process of competition would be established, or what might be relevant to the consideration.

The test reflected in the guidelines arguably makes it rather easy for CCS to determine that conduct is abusive, as there is no objective yardstick for determining when conduct might be considered to have an adverse effect on the process of competition. This means that businesses that might be in a dominant position should be very cautious to assess their business conduct which might have an exclusionary effect on their competitors.

With the above said, it is noteworthy that the test reflected in the CCS guidelines is derived from the decision of the Competition Appeal Board, in hearing the appeal of SISTIC.com Pte Ltd in 2011, in respect of CCS's infringement decision against it. In that regard, the test reflected by CCS is not a novel creation by CCS.

GUIDELINES ON APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF PENALTY

CCS has proposed a number of clarifications to its guidelines on the appropriate amount of penalty, which sets out CCS's approach to determining financial penalties in the context of an infringement finding. In particular, CCS has made changes to reflect:

(a) that where an undertaking is unable or refuses to provide CCS with its relevant turnover or is suspected of providing CCS with very low relevant turnover, CCS will attribute a proportionate relevant turnover to that undertaking based on a proxy formula;

(b) that CCS will not usually make an adjustment for duration in bid-rigging or collusive tendering cases, ie the duration multiplier will be set at 1. However, CCS will treat as aggravating, every bid-rigging infringement that the undertaking participates after the first infringement;

(c) that unreasonable failure by an undertaking to respond to a request for financial information or providing incomplete information may be treated as an aggravating factor taken into account in the calibration of penalties;

(d) that CCS may impose an uplift to the financial penalty calculated, at Step 4, to ensure its policy objectives are achieved; and

(e) that CCS may take into account leniency and immunity reductions as well as discounts which may be applicable under the new fast-track procedure.

How the changes might impact you

The changes to these guidelines generally reflect minor revisions to the existing process, and clarifications. The proposed revisions will not likely have an impact on businesses in relation to their day to day operations, but will provide more clarity for businesses under investigation by CCS and trying to determine their likely financial penalties. In this regard, the clarifications ought to assist considerations of whether to apply for leniency or CCS's fast-track procedure, by potentially making it slightly more easy to judge likely financial penalties.

GUIDELINES ON POWERS OF INVESTIGATION

CCS has only included minor changes to these guidelines to reflect that CCS may exercise its powers of investigation and its powers of enforcements in respect of the section 54 prohibition, which is to be read together with the CCS Guidelines on Merger Procedures 2012.

GUIDELINES ON THE SUBSTANTIVE ASSESSMENT OF MERGERS

The revisions to the Draft CCS Guidelines on the Substantive Assessment of Mergers provide greater clarity on a large number of issues relevant to how CCS will review mergers which have been notified to it or mergers which it investigates unilaterally.

It has always been the case under Singapore's competition laws that the acquisition of minority shareholdings may give rise to a merger which falls for consideration under the merger review regime in the Act, if it confers upon the acquirer decisive influence over an undertaking. Whilst this is not a novel position taken by CCS, CCS has provided express clarification and additional illustration on how a minority shareholder may also be deemed to have sole control over an undertaking on a legal or de facto basis.

CCS has explained that the acquisition of, inter alia:

(a) additional rights which allow minority shareholders to acquire veto decisions that are essential to the strategic commercial behaviour of the undertaking; or

(b) control over decisions made at shareholders' meeting due to patterns of attendance and voting (where the remaining shares are widely dispersed),

can amount to an acquisition of control which may lead to a reviewable merger under the Act.

CCS has clarified also that mergers between competing buyers may create or enhance the merged firm's ability to (unilaterally or in coordination with other firms) exercise market power when buying products or services. This creation or increase in "monopsony power" may lead to a substantial lessening of competition ("SLC") in the relevant (buying) market. CCS has also provided relevant considerations in assessing the competition effects of the merger in the relevant markets. These include, inter alia:

(a) the number of other purchasers purchasing the products/services in the relevant market;

(b) the market shares of the merger parties (as buyers) and that of other buyers;

(c) the potential "entry" of a new buyer or increase in purchases if prices decreased; and

(d) the possibility of suppliers exiting the market or reducing production of investment in response to any price decrease.

CCS has provided further elaboration on the types of information it may consider in assessing whether there is countervailing buyer power of customers. These include, inter alia:

(a) examples of customers switching between alternative suppliers pre-merger;

(b) the proportion of revenue large customers represent for the merger parties;

(c) evidence and examples of (extensive) past negotiations on price, quality of products or services between the customer and the merger parties;

(d) whether the buyer has a large volume order or its ability to sponsor entry for a potential supplier which is not currently in the market; and

(e) evidence that customers have regularly and successfully resisted attempts by a supplier to raise prices.

CCS has also provided illustrations on the types of efficiencies it may consider in applying the "Net Economic Efficiencies" test. The section 54 prohibition of mergers which has or is likely to result in an SLC in any market in Singapore does not apply to any merger if the economic efficiencies arising or that may arise from the merger outweigh the adverse effects of the merger in the relevant market in Singapore.

The illustrations provided by the CCS include, inter alia:

(a) supply-side efficiencies (such as cost reductions and increased investment);

(b) demand-side efficiencies (such as any beneficial price effects on complementary products or benefits of one-stop shopping); and

(c) dynamic efficiencies (such as increased innovation).

How the changes might impact you

The proposed revisions generally provide greater clarity to merger parties as to whether their transactions may potentially be considered to fall within the merger review regime under the Act.

CCS's clarification that mergers of competing buyers can potentially adversely impact on competition in the relevant market (on the buying side) highlights to merger parties undertaking a self-assessment that (where relevant), consideration must be made also on whether the merger would create or enhance the merged entity's ability to exercise monopsony power on the buying side.

CCS's further elaboration and illustrations on countervailing buyer power as a means to discipline supplier pricing and explanation of the efficiencies that CCS may consider in assessing a merger situation will assist merger parties in structuring and formulating their representations to CCS in their notifications on why their transactions do not give rise to an SLC in any market in Singapore.

GUIDELINES ON FILING NOTIFICATIONS FOR GUIDANCE OR DECISION

Agreements, conduct and mergers can be notified to CCS for clearance. The notification system under the Act is voluntary and designed to provide parties with commercial and legal certainty that their transactions or conduct will not likely infringe the Act. These guidelines deal with the procedure for filing notifications for guidance or a decision in respect of the section 34 and section 47 prohibitions.

CCS has proposed changes regarding the information to be submitted within a "Form 1" application. In particular, CCS has indicated that there is now a requirement for information on the relevant product and geographic markets to be provided. CCS has also specified other areas on which information is required, such as in respect of identifying the applicant's five largest competitors and detail relating to the applicability of any vertical relationships between the parties involved.

Under the current prevailing notification system, CCS may refuse to accept an application if it is incomplete. The proposed amendments clarify that where the information provided by the applicant in the Form 1 is incomplete, CCS will notify the applicant and specify a time frame for the applicant to provide the outstanding information. If the applicant fails to do so within the time frame (or any extensions granted) then the application will be deemed not having been made. Where the outstanding information is submitted, then the application will be deemed to be made on the day CCS receives all such information.

CCS has also clarified that documents which are not in the English language must be accompanied by a translation certified by a court interpreter or verified by the affidavit of a qualified translator. However, this clarification simply reflects CCS's current practice.

How the changes might impact you

In general, the proposed changes seek to refine the process of making notifications to CCS. The additional information requirements may involve some additional work in relation to the preparation of the notification; however, the additional information required at the initial stages might, to some extent, help to limit the degree to which CCS needs to request further information from the applicants during the consideration of the notification.

CONCLUSION

With competition law in Singapore about to enter its 11th year of active enforcement, and CCS's bank of cases continuing to grow from year to year, it is timely for CCS to revisit some of the key principles and processes encapsulated in its guidelines. Whilst the majority of the proposed changes reflect minor revisions and improvements to existing processes, the proposed changes also touch on key substantive concepts such as what is meant by a restriction of competition by object under section 34 of the Act, and when an abuse of dominance under section 47 of the Act can be established. The introduction of a fast-track procedure for parties who admit liability under section 34 or 47 at an early stage in return for a fixed reduction in financial penalties represents one of the most novel changes, with such a system poised to sit alongside CCS's leniency programme as potential options for undertakings in the early stages of a CCS investigation.

The consultation process ends on 6 November 2015.

REFERENCES

Please click on the following link to access the document.

Public Consultation on Proposed Changes to CCS Guidelines

Originally published on 14 October 2015

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 Mondaq.com.

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

Authors
 
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
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
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

Mondaq.com (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 www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com 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.

Disclaimer

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.

General

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