Reed Smith In-depth

To ensure that Singapore’s regulatory framework remains up to date with today’s ever-evolving technology and business landscape, the infocommunications and media regulator (IMDA) has issued a revised code of practice (the code) to govern fair competition and consumer protection in the broadcasting, newspaper and telecoms markets. The updated code took effect on 3 May 2022.

Authors: Bryan Tan Carolyn Chia

Policy objectives

Following the convergence of the media and telecoms regulatory frameworks in Singapore and the reconstitution of two previously separate authorities into a single statutory board, the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), the code has been amended to merge and align the provisions in both frameworks, as well as to incorporate relevant updates arising from technological and business developments affecting both the media and telecoms industries.

Based on a thorough market study that was initiated as early as in 2014, IMDA spotted several macro trends that were expected to impact on competition in the media and telecoms markets over the coming years. These trends included:

  • the transition to internet protocol (IP)-based services on the Nationwide Broadband Network;
  • the increasing competitive edge of service bundling;
  • the increasing competition from non-traditional digital platforms;the growth of over-the-top (OTT) media services; and
  • the diminishing reach of traditional media platforms.

IMDA also took the opportunity to align the following regulatory principles and key provisions set forth in the previously separate codes for media and telecoms:

  • Reliance on market forces, private negotiations and industry self-regulation
  • Promotion of effective and sustainable competition
  • Proportionate regulation
  • Technology neutrality
  • Open, transparent and reasoned decision making
  • Avoidance of unnecessary delay
  • Non-discrimination
  • Consultation with other regulatory authorities

The code will be reviewed every five years, or sooner if necessary to reflect market developments.