Michael Zhengping Gu, Feb 28, 2011
Unlike the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”), which is in charge of merger control, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”), which are respectively responsible for regulating price-related and non-price-related anticompetitive practices, have been regarded as relatively conservative in enforcing the Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”). At the time of writing, SAIC has yet to announce any antitrust infringement decision or investigation since the AML came into force. In contrast, NDRC has published a few decisions and conducted investigations against enterprises and industry associations engaging in cartels or abusive conducts since early 2010. Although the deterrent effect might be questionable, given that the sanctions imposed in these cases were moderate in terms of the amount of fines, there are clear indications that NDRC is intending to actively exercise its powers.
This article will discuss some notable cases announced by NDRC and analyze their underlying legal implications.