International Standards of Procedural Fairness and Transparency in Chinese Investigations

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Fay Zhou, John Eichlin, Xi Liao, Feb 12, 2015

Written with co-authors John Eichlin & Xi Liao

Recent years have witnessed intensified enforcement activities by Chinese enforcement authorities targeting a broad range of alleged anticompetitive conduct under the Anti-Monopoly Law. The National Development and Reform Commission and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, together with their regional offices, have firmly established their position in the international spotlight with a series of high-profile enforcement actions against domestic and foreign companies. Headline cases in recent years involving multinational companies include fines related to the global auto parts cartel investigation, probes of resale price maintenance by foreign auto manufacturers, and high-profile investigations into Qualcomm and Microsoft reportedly focused on abuse of dominance and patent incensing practices.

With the attention raised by these high-profile investigations, these authorities have drawn international scrutiny for both the substance of the investigations and how they have been conducted. Procedurally, critics have argued that these investigations have lacked transparency and that the targets were not afforded sufficient protections under international norms of procedural fairness. In particular, they have argued that many investigations have been characterized by limited opportunity for compan…

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