KUALA LUMPUR: Flower growers in Cameron Highlands will meet the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) over the issue involving the 10% price-fixing of their plants.
Apologising for the problem, Cameron Highlands Floriculturists Association president Lee Peng Fo said there was no longer an agreement among its 150 members to increase flower prices by 10%.
He had made the announcement in March due to the rising costs of material and labour.
“The commission told us that we have broken the law by making that decision. We did not know it then as it is a new law.
“We have apologised and will go to their office next week to give our statement as well as to get a better understanding about the law,” he said yesterday.
The commission had on Wednesday issued a “proposed decision” against the association for contravening Section 4(2) of the Competition Act by engaging in an anti-competitive agreement to increase the prices of flowers by 10%. The Act came into force on Jan 1.
“Under the Competition Act, it is a violation when enterprises in the same level of production or supply chain agree to fix the price of their goods or services.
“This is deemed to have the object of significantly preventing, restricting or distorting competition in the market for the goods,” MyCC had said in its statement.
The commission had also requested the association to stop fixing flower prices, provide an undertaking that it would refrain from anti-competitive practices as well as issue a public statement in the newspapers on their remedial actions.
However, the growers will be given an opportunity to submit their arguments to MyCC before it finalises its decision, which they can either respond verbally or in writing.
On current flower prices, Lee said they differed depending on the quality of the flowers.
“There are no standard prices. For example, the farm price for a dozen roses is between RM4.30 and RM6.30 depending on its quality,” he said.