by Susan Ning and Liwei Wang
On September 11, 2011, the name of the previous Guangdong Provincial Price Bureau was officially changed to the PriceSupervision and Inspection and Antitrust Bureau of Guangdong Province (广东省价格监督检查及反垄断局, Guangdong PAB). In connection with the expanded scope of its administrative authority, the agency will recruit additional officials for the purpose of supporting its price inspection and antitrust functions. In addition, the administrative hierarchy of the post-reform Guangdong PAB is elevated, indicating heightened administrative authority.
The former Guangdong Price Bureau was under the direct supervision of the Guangdong provincial government. The recent reform was made pursuant to the reallocation of administrative authorities within the Guangdong provincial government in accordance with the requirements of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). It is expected that the recent reform would strengthen Guangdong PAB’s administrative capacity in connection with enforcement against price-fixing or other price-related monopoly conducts.
The NDRC expects the above reform in Guangdong province to serve as a pilot program, the experience of which could be further implemented to other regions within the country. Consequently, it is also expected that local antitrust authorities will be established in more provinces and cities following Guangdong province and that price-related antitrust law enforcement will be strengthened and further developed.