China: Commentary On MOFCOM's Conditional Approval Of NXP's Acquisition Of Freescale (In Chinese)

Last Updated: 25 January 2016
Article by Michael Gu

背景

2015年11月27日,中华人民共和国商务部(以下简称"商务部")公布了2015年第二例附加限制性条件批准的经营者集中案,即恩智浦半导体股份公司(以下简称"恩智浦")收购飞思卡尔半导体有限公司(以下简称"飞思卡尔")全部股权案。

收购方恩智浦是一家全球半导体公司,从事集成电路及单一组件(分立元件)半导体的设计、制造和销售,其产品用于汽车、无线网络基础设施、照明、移动、消费与计算机等多种领域和行业。被收购方飞思卡尔是一家从事微控制器与数字网络处理器(通常称为嵌入式处理器)生产和研发的公司,同时生产与其嵌入式处理器互补的差异化半导体产品组合。

商务部在详细分析了此项经营者集中对相关产品市场竞争的影响后,认为此项集中在射频功率晶体管市场上可能具有排除、限制竞争的效果。商务部对恩智浦提交的剥离其射频功率晶体管业务的救济措施进行了全面评估,最终同意并基于其剥离方案做出了附条件批准其收购飞思卡尔的决定。这是近三年来商务部审查的唯一一起以剥离可能对竞争产生负面影响的业务的附加结构性救济方式的有条件通过案件。本案为全球性申报,于2015年9月17日获得欧盟委员会附条件批准;于2015年11月23日获得韩国公平交易委员会附条件批准。申报方向商务部呈交的救济方案与向欧盟及韩国竞争当局提交的方案如出一辙。出现这种相似性的原因很大程度上是由于申报方引起各辖区反垄断执法机构关注的相关产品地域市场均被界定为全球市场,同时也表明商务部在反垄断审查思路和执法理念上越来越与国际接轨。

重新申报后附条件通过

本案经历了申报到撤回申报,再重新申报的过程。商务部最初收到恩智浦收购飞思卡尔案件材料的时间为2015年4月3日,但商务部认为申报材料不完备,要求申报方予以补充。2015年5月15日,商务部对此项经营者集中申报予以立案并开始审查。2015年9月11日,经申报方同意,商务部决定进一步延长审查期限,在进一步审查延长阶段即将届满时,申报方申请撤回案件。2015年11月10日,商务部对申报方的重新申报予以立案。与以往重新申报又被附条件批准的案件不同的是,本案申报方重新申报后很快就获得了批准。2015年11月27日,在重新申报立案后仅17天,商务部即做出了附条件通过的决定。但是,从申报方首次向商务部提交材料之日起至2015年11月27日商务部公布附条件批准决定之日计算,该案获批历时共计236天。从商务部首次立案开始计算,商务部的实际审查期限则为192天。

《反垄断法》实施以来商务部附条件批准的26例案件中,申报方撤回案件又重新申报的情形并不少见。商务部的公告中通常不会披露申报方申请撤回案件的具体原因(如嘉能可国际公司收购斯特拉塔案、丸红收购高鸿100%股权案、联发科技股份吸收合并开曼晨星案等)。但是,在西部数据收购日立存储案的商务部决定中披露的原因是,西部数据以案件事实产生重大变更为由申请撤回申报。我们理解大部分案件撤回申报的原因主要是申报方为了争取更多的时间与商务部协商救济措施。由于此类案件通常都非常复杂,申报方如果无法在法律规定的期限内提出能够解除商务部竞争顾虑的救济方案,为避免交易被禁止,申报方就会主动选择撤回申报,以赢得更多时间与商务部进行充分沟通,以增加案件获批的可能性。

相关市场

本次集中双方在通用微控制器、电源专用模拟集成电路(用于汽车应用领域)及射频功率晶体管市场存在横向业务重叠。在界定商品相关市场时,商务部将模拟集成电路市场进行了非常详细的划分。商务部认为,模拟集成电路可以进一步分为通用模拟集成电路及专用模拟集成电路,本案所涉及的产品为用于汽车领域的专用模拟集成电路,商务部按照用途的不同对专用模拟集成电路实行了进一步划分,分为电源专用模拟集成电路和非电源专用模拟电路。因具有不同的功能、IP模块和生产工艺,商务部认为电源专用模拟集成电路构成独立的相关商品市场。

界定相关市场对竞争分析有举足轻重的作用。根据国务院反垄断委员会《关于相关市场界定的指南》,科学合理地界定相关市场,对识别竞争者和潜在竞争者、判定经营者市场份额和市场集中度、认定经营者的市场地位等关键问题,具有重要作用。相关市场的界定通常是对竞争行为进行分析的起点。界定相关商品市场可以从商品本身的特性、价格、用途、消费者需求和偏好、需求和供应替代性等角度分析。随着相关商品市场的进一步细分,考察的范围逐渐缩小,而申报方的市场份额会逐渐增大,同时对市场的相对影响力就越大,越容易引起反垄断执法机构的关注。商务部在本案中将相关市场细分至用于汽车领域的电源专用模拟集成电路市场,可见商务部对商品市场的界定倾向于进行较窄的细分。

在界定地域市场方面,商务部从贸易监管障碍、运输成本、供应及采购范围等方面进行分析。由于不存在贸易监管障碍,运输成本在价格中占比极低,生产、采购和供应均在全球范围内进行,且供应商在全球范围内展开竞争等原因,商务部将通用微控制器、电源专用模拟集成电路(用于汽车应用领域)及射频功率晶体管的相关地域市场界定为全球市场。

商务部重点考察市场份额

本案中,商务部着重从交易双方的市场份额及市场控制力、相关市场的集中程度、市场进入的难易程度等几方面深入分析了此项交易对市场竞争的影响,并认为此项交易在射频功率晶体管市场可能具有排除、限制竞争的效果。根据商务部《关于评估经营者集中竞争影响的暂行规定》,市场份额是分析相关市场结构、经营者及其竞争者在相关市场中地位的重要因素。商务部经过分析后发现,在射频功率晶体管市场中,竞争者较少,排名前八位的市场竞争者合计市场份额高达90%左右,在市场集中度较高的情况下,申报双方的市场份额分别位于全球第一和第二,2014年双方合计市场份额高达54%。

市场份额排名第一、第二的经营者集中将消除特定领域最领先的两个竞争者之间的竞争,这是商务部格外关注的竞争问题。在以往附条件批准的案件中,不乏采用结构性救济方案剥离相关业务,阻止在某相关商品市场中市场份额位居第一、第二的经营者合并的情形:如在松下收购三洋案件中,硬币型锂二次电池市场是高度集中的市场,申报双方分别是该市场内第一和第二大生产商,合并后将占据61.6%的市场份额,因此商务部要求申报双方在获得附条件批准后六个月内剥离三洋公司全部的硬币型锂二次电池业务;在联合技术收购古德里奇案件中,交易双方在飞机交流发电系统市场中市场份额位居市场前两名,因此商务部要求联合技术在获得附条件批准后六个月内剥离古德里奇全部电源系统业务。而在马士基、地中海航运、达飞设立网络中心案件中,由于交易三方在亚洲-欧洲航线运力份额排名前三,三方运力整合将显著增强市场控制力,商务部直接禁止了该经营者集中案。

商务部重点考察申报方的市场份额的原因主要是由于集中导致的市场份额激增会产生一系列竞争问题。本案中飞思卡尔和恩智浦在射频功率晶体管市场上是位于前两位的竞争对手,双方采用相似的流程和技术,且具有相同的客户群,客户通常采用"飞思卡尔+恩智浦"的采购模式,集中双方在相关商品市场上竞争激烈、相互制约。而本次集中将消除这种激烈的竞争,减少了客户的选择范围,增加采购风险。因此商务部认为本次集中在射频功率晶体管市场可能具有排除、限制竞争的效果。

救济措施

根据商务部的决定,恩智浦应当完全剥离其射频功率晶体管业务并严格按照其向商务部提交的相关协议向北京建广资产管理有限公司出售其剥离业务。同时,恩智浦须履行剥离前过渡期的义务。值得注意的是,商务部还强调在剥离业务交割之前,恩智浦与飞思卡尔之间的股权收购交易不得实施。

本案是商务部《关于经营者集中附加限制性条件的规定(试行)》(以下简称"《附加限制性条件规定》")自2015年1月5日实施后首例采用结构性救济方式剥离对竞争可能产生负面影响的业务的案例。在《附加限制性条件规定》中,商务部对限制性条件的确定、实施、监督变更和解除进行了详细规定。《附加限制性条件规定》第二十条强调了剥离义务人需确保剥离业务的存续性、竞争性和可销售性。在本案公告中,对于恩智浦提交的剥离救济方案,商务部除考察上述剥离要求外,还从剥离业务的范围及有效性、剥离业务买方的适格性及下游客户对剥离方案的态度等方面进行了评估。商务部在公告中列明的上述评估要点,为今后需呈交结构性救济方案的申报方提供了有效的指引。

在此前的结构性救济方案中,剥离义务人通常被要求在获得附条件批准后一定时间内为剥离业务找到购买人并签订协议,如在辉瑞收购惠氏案件中,辉瑞公司必须在商务部批准集中后六个月内为被剥离业务找到购买人并与之签订买卖协议;在联合技术收购古德里奇案件中,联合技术必须在商务部批准集中后六个月内为剥离业务找到购买人并与之签订买卖协议。商务部如此要求的原因一方面是出于市场效率的考量,应申报方的请求尽快批准案件;另一方面是考虑到剥离义务人无法立即找到接收剥离业务的购买人。

反观本案,商务部要求恩智浦履行的义务似乎更加严格。其中有一个重要的原因即是,案件重新申报后的审查初期,恩智浦即向商务部提交了结构性救济方案,将恩智浦射频功率晶体管业务全部剥离出售给北京建广资产管理有限公司。在恩智浦已经为剥离业务找到购买人并已签署购买协议的情况下,商务部无需赋予申报方额外时间寻找购买人。

此外,商务部要求在批准决定公告之日起至剥离业务交割前,恩智浦应履行相关的过渡期义务,包括尽力:

1. 不实施与剥离业务相关的"不公平的贸易行为";

2. 不实施任何可能会对剥离业务的价值、管理或竞争力产生重大不利影响,或可能改变剥离业务的性质和范围、产业或商业策略或投资政策的行为,并采取合理措施鼓励核心员工留任剥离业务,不寻求或调离人员到恩智浦留存业务任职;

3. 保证根据公平、合理和无歧视条件向剥离业务供货;及

4. 保持剥离业务的独立性,且双方和剥离业务之间不得交换竞争性敏感信息。

总结

本案中商务部做出了与欧盟和韩国的反垄断机构类似的附条件通过决定。与欧盟和韩国一致,商务部将相关地域市场界定为全球市场。商务部在本案中没有单独分析集中可能对中国市场造成的影响。商务部的竞争分析主要围绕射频功率晶体管市场中飞思卡尔与恩智浦的市场份额方面。从市场界定、竞争分析和最终的结构性救济方式等方面看,商务部与欧盟、韩国等管辖区的竞争执法机构的执法思路和价值取向越来越趋同。

作为《附加限制性条件规定》出台后首例采取剥离业务救济方式的附条件批准案件,商务部针对恩智浦提出的剥离方案就剥离业务的存续性、竞争性和可销售性、剥离业务买方资质等方面进行了评估,为今后相关申报方提出结构性救济方案提供了可以借鉴的先例。

此外,本案经历了撤回申报又重新申报的过程,申报方在第一次申报后临近商务部进一步审查期限届满时撤回,以争取更多的时间就如何采取救济措施消除竞争影响等方面与商务部进行充分有效的沟通。在较为复杂且涉及敏感的竞争问题的经营者集中申报案件中,申报方撤回申报后再次申报,不失为避免交易被禁止的灵活有效的策略。

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The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq 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 of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

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