Although the antimonopoly enforcement in China is still in its
formative years, the significant progress made by China's
antimonopoly regulators has brought about far-reaching impacts on
companies doing business in China. Recently, the three
anti-monopoly regulators, i.e. the National Development and Reform
Commission ("NDRC"), the State
Administration for Industry and Commerce
("SAIC") and the Ministry of Commerce
("MOFCOM") published their latest
enforcement achievements, and NDRC for the first time disclosed its
case volume to the public.
To keep its vow of increasing transparency 1, NDRC
took a considerable step in releasing information about their
antitrust investigations to the public. According to Mr. Xu Kunlin,
Director General of Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau of
NDRC, a total of 49 price-related cases have been investigated by
NDRC since the enforcement of AML, and 20 of them were closed with
administrative penalties.2 The investigations have
covered a broad range of industries, including pharmacy,
papermaking, LCD panel, cement, insurance, shipping agency
industries, etc. This is the first time that NDRC disclosed its
case volume to the public.
In comparison to NDRC, SAIC appears to be more active in making
disclosure of its enforcement efforts. The latest announcement was
made on December 18th, 2012 during the China Competition Policy and
Law Annual Conference held in Beijing3 . Ms. Ren Airong,
Director General of the Antimonopoly and Anti-unfair Competition
Enforcement Bureau of SAIC, introduced on the Conference that up to
the present SAIC has authorized 10 provincial AICs to investigate
in 17 cases, including 16 cartel cases (3 of them involved verbal
agreement) and 1 case of abuse of dominance; besides, 8 cases have
been decided by SAIC and 6 of them were closed in 2012, from which
it can be seen that SAIC is speeding up in its case handling
On December 27th, 2012, Mr. Shang Ming, Director General of the
Antimonopoly Bureau of MOFCOM, represented MOFCOM's
achievements in merger control on the Press Conference of
"Antimonopoly Work Progress in 2012?. 4 As of
December 26th, 2012, MOFCOM has officially accepted a total of 186
cases, and 154 of them have been cleared (including 6 conditional
clearance decisions) in year 2012.
It is worth mentioning that in 2012, MOFCOM disclosed all the
unconditional cases (458 as of September 30th, 2012) since the AML
took effect in 2008. MOFCOM has promised to publish information
about the unconditional cases on a quarterly basis.
On 29 December 2010, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issued rules entitled "Rules on Anti-Price Monopoly"(rules). These are the first rules to provide further guidance in relation to the price-related prohibitions of the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). [Note: The NDRC issued these rules in draft form for the first time in September 2009.] The rules will be effective as of 1 February 2011.
European competition authorities are also serious about resale price maintenance or suppliers fixing resellers’ prices.
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