By Susan Ning, Hazel Yin, and Han Wu

On July 17th, People’s Daily reported that the Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission is investigating gold retailers including but not limited to Shanghai Lao Feng Xiang (600612. SH) and Yuyuan Tourist Mart Company (600655.SH) for manipulation of gold jewelry retail price in Shanghai under the auspices of the Shanghai Gold & Jewelry Trade Association (“SGJTA”).
Continue Reading NDRC Probes Shanghai Gold Association and Gold Retailers for Price Fixing

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

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

作者:贺墨亭 黄紫玲 金杜律师事务所公司

2012年6月22日,香港首部跨部门的实体竞争法在香港特别行政区政府宪报中公布,随之设立了新的监管机构,该机构的设立将会推动亚洲商业经营行为的变革,而该机构本身也拥有广泛的强制执行权力,其中包括有权在相关修订生效后开展黎明突袭,并对违反竞争行为处以严重处罚。

《竞争条例》将禁止卡特尔行为、滥用市场权势和其他形式的违反竞争行为,但一些豁免情况除外(包括考虑经济效率所规定的豁除、集体豁免和最低营业额)。合并审查将继续限制适用于电信部门。

香港竞争事务委员会(竞委会)将享有一系列的调查和强制执行权力,包括有权发出违章通知书、接受承诺、对举报人给予豁免、及启动诉讼处罚程序、和发出禁止担任高管职务的命令。

在本篇法律快讯中,我们将介绍《竞争条例》主要条款的潜在影响,提示企业应在该新法律规制下采取哪些准备措施,并简要列举新成立的竞委会将拥有哪些调查和强制执行权力。
Continue Reading 香港的新竞争法:反托拉斯革命的大幕即将拉开

By Martyn Huckerby Jill Wong King & Wood Mallesons’ Foreign Direct Investment Group

On June 22, 2012, Hong Kong’s first cross-sector substantive competition law regime was published in the official gazette, bringing with it a new regulator ready to change business practices in the Asian region, and armed with extensive enforcement powers, including the ability to conduct dawn raids and levy significant fines for anti-competitive conduct once the changes come into force.

The Competition Ordinance will prohibit cartel conduct, abuses of market power and other forms of anti-competitive conduct, subject to the availability of a number of exemptions, including exemptions based on efficiencies, Block Exemptions and minimum turnover. Merger control will continue to be limited to the telecommunications sector.
Continue Reading Hong Kong’s new competition law: get ready for the antitrust revolution

By Susan Ning, Liu Jia and Huang Jing

On April 24, 2012, TV.SOHU.COM, v.QQ.COM,and iQIYI.COM (the specialized video website of Baidu)jointly announced the establishment of an alliance called "Video Content Cooperation" (VCC) for vedio copyright joint purchasing. The VCC is viewed as another "faction" after the recent combination of Youku and Tudou. It is reported that the main purpose of the VCC is to jointly purchasing the copy right for their own each website.1  

TV.SOHU.COM, v.QQ.COM, and iQIYI.COM are all internet video websites and are close competitors. Their cooperation may affect the competition status in the market. This article will analyze under the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) whether joint purchase arrangement could constitute "horizontal monopoly agreement".

Continue Reading Joint purchasing under the AML-SOHU, QQ and Baidu launched Video Content Cooperation Alliance

By Susan Ning and Liu Jia

Most recently,a piece of news related to the Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML")indicates that, the National Development and Reform Commission("NDRC")who is in charge of the implementation of the Price Law and price-related antitrust violation, communicated with the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television("SARFT")1, for SARFT’s proposed draft of Guidance on Further Regulation of Movie Ticket Business("draft Guidance").It is reported that SARFT is suspected of abusing its administrative power for fixing the price of movie tickets.
 

Fact
 

On 26 February 2012, the draft Guidance was posted on the internet by a micro-blogger. According to the draft Guidance, SARFT divides the sales market of movie tickets into several districts, and sets the guided price (i.e.highest retail price) of movie tickets for each of the district.  It also provides that the movie tickets for theater members and group buyers should not be sold for less than 70% of the listed price.

Continue Reading Does SARFT Have the Authority to Regulate Movie Ticket Price?

By: Susan Ning, Angie Ng and Shan Lining

Last week (between 26 to 27 May 2011), it was reported in the press that Unilever has raised the prices of specific products (including Lux and Hazeline branded shampoos and shower gels) by 10% in some cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou (Unilever’s price increases).  This was touted as a surprising move given that Unilever was recently fined by the price authority, the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) in relation to conduct to do with its proposed price increases just earlier in the month (see below for more details to do with this fine) (Unilever’s price signaling conduct).

This article outlines details to do with Unilever’s price signaling conduct and subsequent price increases and examines whether or to what extent such conduct would be considered in breach of the Price Law and the Anti-Monopoly Law in China.

Continue Reading Price signaling and price hikes – a breach of the Price Law or Anti-Monopoly Law?

By: Susan Ning, Shan Lining, Liu Jia and Angie Ng

On 10 December 2010, the State Council published and enacted a set of revised penalty regulations[1] (vis-à-vis the Price Law 1997). 

Broadly, the penalties set out in these revised penalty regulations are more severe than the previous version. 

Of note is the fact that there is a new Article 5 which outlines more severe and specific remedies in relation to breaches amounting to price-fixing. In addition, the new Article 19 introduces criminal sanctions for breaches of the Price Law 1997 which severely disrupt the market order in China.

Continue Reading If You Fix Prices, Beware of the Price Law and the Anti Monopoly Law