ICCC issues Statutory Notice to Exxon Mobil

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) has issued a Statutory Notice to ExxonMobil to provide certain documents and information relating to the acquisition of InterOil’s interests in the Papua LNG project.

ICCC Commissioner and CEO Paulus Ain in a statement said, the notice is issued under Section 128 of the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission Act 2002 (ICCC Act).

He said once a Statutory Notice is issued, it compels any individual or company to provide specific information or documents requested by ICCC.

“The issuance of a Statutory Notice is not taken lightly and is exercised when an individual and or a company has refused to voluntarily provide information formally requested by the ICCC.”

Ain said a refusal to comply with the Statutory Notice, or knowingly submitting misleading and incorrect information is an offence under the ICCC Act.

The penalty for which includes a fine of K100, 000 or imprisonment for a term of two years.

Ain said, ICCC has resorted to invoking Section 128 of the ICCC Act as a final attempt to compel ExxonMobil to comply with the provisions of the ICCC Act since  numerous attempts and requests to ExxonMobil to submit the relevant application have not been complied with.

ICCC advised that the type of information and documents requested in the Statutory Notice issued to Exxon Mobil includes documents such as the Contract of Sale, Share Sale & Purchase Agreement, and Joint Venture Agreements concerning ExxonMobil’s acquisition of InterOil’s interests in the Papua LNG project.

Ain said, these key information and documents, amongst others, will enable them to carry out an appropriate and independent competition assessment to be able to better understand the key elements of the acquisition and any potential competition implications that may arise from the acquisition.

He further advised that even if the review of the information and documents submitted by ExxonMobil indicated that there is no breach of the ICCC Act, ICCC is still required by the provisions of the ICCC Act to ensure that it undertakes all the necessary competition reviews as part of its investigative role in safeguarding competition and consumer welfare in PNG.

Freddy Mou