Australia: Competition Law Developments in East Asia June 2011

More than $824 million in fines have been imposed so far this year in East Asia, with the Korean competition authority being the most aggressive enforcer by far. The amount of penalties imposed in the first six months of the year is a significant increase over the $492 million imposed in the first half of 2010. Sanctions for antitrust violations are also imposed more frequently. 34 decisions imposing fines were adopted during the period, compared to 24 in the same period last year.

The increase in fine amounts is not the only noteworthy development. Considering the types of infringements sanctioned, cartels and concerted practices now make up the vast majority of cases, with twice as many decisions sanctioning cartels than decisions sanctioning bid-rigging practices. Vertical restrictions rarely attract the imposition of fines, although there were several resale price maintenance cases in Taiwan and Korea where penalties were imposed during the period. These trends are illustrated in the graph below.

The fines data otherwise confirms established trends: Japan and Korea are among the authorities that consistently impose the highest amounts of fines, both in Asia and on a global basis. Authorities in China are gradually stepping up their enforcement against behavioural conduct under the Antimonopoly Law, while continuing to deal with price and market allocation cartels under the Price Law and the Unfair Trade Practices Law. Competition authorities that can rely both on antitrust and unfair trade practices regulation will also often choose the latter when dealing with unilateral conduct, as shown by the lack of sanctions imposed for abuse of market power under antitrust legislation (but sanctions are imposed and action is taken under other legislation, as seen recently in the retail and online gaming sectors in Japan).

Finally, in terms of industrial sectors, the construction (11 decisions), energy (four decisions) and food (seven decisions) industries continue to be the most affected by antitrust fines, as was the case in previous periods.

The statistics used are based on public announcements made by competition authorities in East Asia during the first half of 2011. The amount for China is an estimate as no detailed figures were published. US dollar equivalent amounts were calculated using annualised exchange rates established on 25 June 2011.

Hong Kong LegCo Committee launches public consultation

The Hong Kong Competition Bill was formally introduced by the Government in the Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) in July 2010. A Bills Committee was established in September to consider the proposal, and has now met 18 times. The Committee review process is expected to conclude in the summer of 2012.

In response to the general unease among Committee members with a broadly worded principles-based legislation, the Government has been requested to provide examples of implementing guidelines to show how a Competition Ordinance would be enforced in practice.

On 30 June, the Bills Committee released these guidelines for public consultation. Interested parties have until 11 July to submit a written submission.

Vietnam Competition Authority releases 2010 Annual Report

On 9 June, the Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) published its 2010 Annual Report which describes its enforcement activity during 2009 and 2010. During that period, the VCA received 23 complaints in relation to restrictive practices and 8 applications for merger clearance. It also dealt with an abuse of dominance case against Vietnam Brewery, which was accused of allegedly having imposed unfair terms and conditions on its retailers. In this particular case, the VCA recommended that the Vietnam Competition Council issue a cease and desist order to bring an end to the investigation owing to the lack of evidence supporting the case for dominance. The case was dismissed in 2010.

Although the number of cases reviewed has been increasing since the Competition Law was introduced in 2004, the VCA acknowledges that there are still weaknesses in the implementation of the law. The VCA pointed out, in particular, the limited human resources to carry out antitrust investigations and the overlap between the various laws and regulations governing anticompetitive practices.

The annual report also identifies the VCA's priorities for 2011. These include proposing amendments for the Competition Law, conducting market investigations in those sectors that have high levels of concentration and improving legal certainty in the implementation of the law.

The above is an excerpt from our monthly Competition Report. More detailed commentary on these issues and other recent competition law developments in the Asian region is to be found in this month's edition of our report available on a free subscription basis (see further below).

Table of contents of our June 2011 report (Issue 31)

China MOFCOM conditionally approves Uralkali's acquisition of Silvinit

China MOFCOM publishes draft Interim Regulation on the substantive assessment of mergers

China MOFCOM consults again on failure to notify

Hong Kong LegCo Committee launches public consultation

Indonesia KPPU publishes draft guidelines on exclusive dealings

Indonesia KPPU publishes draft guidelines on price fixing agreements

Japan JFTC releases enforcement statistics for the fiscal year 2010

Japan JFTC concludes its merger control reform with further amendments to guidelines and procedure

Japan 2010 merger control report shows a significant decrease in notified mergers

Japan JFTC seeks broad consultation of stakeholders in proposed Nippon Steel / Sumitomo Metal merge

Japan JFTC opens an in-depth phase 2 investigation of the proposed merger between Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal

Japan Japanese government grants antitrust immunity to joint venture between ANA and Lufthansa

Japan Ten more companies fined for their involvement in bridge construction bid-rigging

Japan Oil distributors to pay 8.4 billion yen in damages for bid-rigging

Japan JFTC imposes fines on four LPG cylinder manufacturers for price fixing

Korea KFTC investigates car manufacturers for alleged abuse of dominance

Korea KFTC sanctions obstruction of investigation

Korea KFTC releases notice on merger remedies

Korea KFTC imposes fines and corrective orders on two local gochujang manufacturers

Korea KFTC imposes fines and corrective orders on four local dairy producers

Korea Insurers lose appeal against KFTC decision in price fixing case

Singapore CCS publishes its clearance decision in Indonesian ferry case

Taiwan TFTC plans to introduce leniency regime

Taiwan Supreme Administrative Court upholds TFTC's NT$210 million fine on cement cartel

Vietnam VCA releases 2010 Annual Report

Annex 1 English translation of MOFCOM's draft Interim Measures on the Investigation of Concentrations not Notified

Annex 2 English translation of MOFCOM's draft Interim Regulation on the Assessment of the Competitive Effects of Concentrations of Undertakings

Annex 3 English translation of MOFCOM's public announcement in relation to Uralkali's proposed acquisition of Silvinit

Read the full report - Please register if you are interested in subscribing to our monthly East Asia competition reports (free subscription). 

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.