A Practitioner’s Look at Merger Control Remedies in China

Francois Renard, Jan 25, 2012

Since the entry into force of its antitrust rules, China has approved transactions subject to “restrictive conditions,” also called “remedies” or “commitments” in other jurisdictions, in only ten out of approximately 370 transactions notified. This is a particularly low proportion of cases compared to other jurisdictions, including the European Union. This shows that instead of prohibiting these transactions, the Chinese competition authority has preferred to opt for a favorable outcome allowing companies to proceed with their operation, which must be welcomed.

The remedies imposed in China are sometimes quite creative and do not always seem burdensome for the parties, which is another positive sign. However, the authority has started to impose more and more remedies recently, in particular in the recent Seagate/Samsung decision where the number of remedies was noticeably high. In addition, practice shows that there is room for improvement in the way the authority imposes these remedies, as well as in the types of remedies themselves.

After summarizing the regulatory context for merger control remedies in China, this article summarizes the remedies that have been imposed in China and suggests possible ways to improve the authority’s nascent practice.

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