By Susan Ning and Kate Peng
 
On Jan 4th, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC“) published that they had imposed fines in a total amount of RMB 353 million (approximately USD 56 million) on 6 LCD panel manufacturers, including Samsung and LG of Korea and ChiMei, AU Optronics, Chunghwa Picture Tubes and HannStar from Taiwan region.  This is China’s first antitrust enforcement action against international cartels.  It also imposes the highest penalties in China’s antitrust enforcement history.

According to the press releases of NDRC on its official website 1, during the period from 2001 to 2006, the 6 LCD manufacturers, which accounted for about 80% of the global LCD panel market, convened 53 meetings in Taiwan and Korea to exchange market information and negotiate the price of LCD panels.  NDRC received complaints on the cartel from major Chinese TV makers in December 2006.  The TV makers also reported non-price related misconducts of the panel manufacturers, including providing an 18-month warranty only and failing to provide high-end products in a timely manner.
Continue Reading NDRC Imposed Stiff Fines on Multinational LCD Manufacturers in China’s First Antitrust Enforcement Action against International Cartels

By Susan Ning, Kate Peng and Yunlong Zhang

 

On December 4th and 5th, 2012, the first China Competition Policy Forum (the “Forum“) was held in China University of  Political Science and Law.  The Forum was sponsored by the expert advisory group of the Anti-monopoly Commission of the State Council.   The Directors-General of the three enforcers under the Anti-Monopoly Law (the “AML“), i.e. the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM“), the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC“) and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC“) attended the Forum and introduced the latest development of their AML enforcement activities.1

According to Director-General Shang Ming (尚明) of the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of MOFCOM, up to September 30, 2012, a total of 622 merger notification filings were received by MOFCOM, among which 562 were accepted and 510 were closed.  Amongst the cases having been closed, only 1 case was rejected (i.e., Coca Cola’s acquisition of Hui Yuan) and 15 cases were cleared with conditions.   Mr. Shang mentioned the publication of 458 unconditionally approved cases in November this year2,    and indicated that MOFCOM would regularly summarize and release the unconditionally cleared cases in the future.

 
Continue Reading Heads of the Three Antitrust Enforcement Agencies Attended the First China Competition Policy Forum

By Susan Ning, Kate Peng and Yunlong Zhang

The Price Bureau of Guangdong Province (“GDPB“) recently published an article about an investigation in a price-fixing cartel among sea sand dredging companies on its official website 1.  According to the article, the price of sea sand in Guangdong province rose from around RMB20 per cubic meter to over RMB40 per cubic meter since 2009, which seriously affected the progress of many major infrastructure projects of the State.  This unusual trend attracted the attention of the government of Guangdong province.  In order to find out the reason behind the price increase, GDPB initiated an investigation in February 2012 under the guidance of the Price Supervision and Anti-monopoly Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC“).
Continue Reading Price Bureau Uncovered and Punished a Price-Fixing Cartel under the Leniency Program

By Susan Ning, Sun Yiming and Kate Peng

On the International Symposium on Controversial Issues regarding Chinese AML Enforcement held in Hangzhou on Monday this week, both the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”) announced that they will increase the transparency of their enforcement actions under the AML. 

NDRC and SAIC are the regulators for anti-monopoly conducts in China. The powers are divided between the two authorities in the way that NDRC is responsible for price-related monopoly conducts, and SAIC is responsible for non-price related monopoly conducts.

Continue Reading Chinese Antitrust Regulators Vow to Increase Transparency

By Susan Ning, Liu Jia and Kate Peng

It is generally known that the antitrust enforcement powers are shared by three government authorities in China: the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”),  which is responsible for merger control,  the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”), which is responsible for price-related monopoly conducts, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”), which is responsible for non-price related monopoly conducts.  Compared to the former two authorities, SAIC  keeps a relatively low profile on its antitrust enforcement actions. 

On July 11, Director General of the Anti-Monopoly and Anti-Unfair Competition Enforcement Bureau of SAIC (“AMAUCEB”), Ms. Ren Airong (任爱荣) made a speech at a conference and introduced the fruits of antitrust enforcement by SAIC since the Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”)  came into effect on August 1, 2008. 

Continue Reading A General Picture of SAIC’s Antitrust Enforcement

Susan Ning and Ding Liang

On December 16, 2011, the Beijing Lawyers Association organized a seminar inviting Mr. Zhou Zhigao, an official from the Price Supervision, Inspection and Anti-monopoly Bureau (Price Supervision and Anti-monopoly Bureau) of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), to speak on anti-price monopoly legislation and enforcement. 
 

Continue Reading NDRC Doubles Its Antitrust Enforcement Force