Aircon company owned by spouse of former justice chief to be fined HK$150m in antitrust suit

A company founded by Otto Poon Lok-to, husband of former justice secretary Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, is facing a fine of HK$150 million after it admitted violating antitrust laws.

The Competition Commission said on Friday that it had been investigating Poon’s ATAL Building Services Engineering over a suspected air-conditioning works cartel.

The commission’s statement noted that the company had admitted liability in air-conditioning cartel cases and accepted cooperation terms, including paying a proposed HK$150 million fine, as well as covering the commission’s costs of investigation and legal proceedings.

It is also required to enhance competition compliance measures to the satisfaction of the commission across the group, according to the cooperation agreement.

"The cooperation agreements entered into with several respondents in the case represent significant developments in the commission’s investigation into the multi-year air-conditioning services cartels," said the commission's CEO, Rasul Butt, in a statement.

Analogue Holdings, meanwhile, said in a stock exchange filing that it will not be named as a party in the suit.

It said the company's board decided that it was in the interests of the firm and shareholders to sign an agreement with the competition watchdog.