Jun Wei, Nov 17, 2010
Several months have now passed since the second anniversary of the enactment of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”). As compared with 2009, when antitrust news was often headlined in the press, the pace of antitrust enforcement this year seems, at least on its face, to be slowing down. This is partly the result of the lack of high-profile new merger review decisions like the Coca-Cola/Huiyuan decision, and the result of slowly evolving conduct rules legislation (i.e., those referring to prohibitions of monopoly agreements and abuse of market dominate positions).
However, a careful observer could find that the enforcement authorities are actually beefing up their enforcement and composing themselves for more active applications of the AML in the future. For one, the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) has continued to further strengthen its merger control framework. Meanwhile, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC)” has begun to apply the AML, in addition to pre-existing laws (such as the 1997 Price Law), to price-related cartels. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”) also published the second draft of its three implementing regulations for public consultation. On the private action side, Chinese courts have resolved several antitrust cases and are in the process of trying several others, though not great in number.
This article summarizes the developments in each field mentioned above and further discusses their implicati