By Susan Ning and Hazel Yin
On April 18, the Guangdong Higher People’s Court held the first court hearing for the abuse of dominance action filed by Qihoo(the operator of 360 safety software)against Tencent(the operator of QQ instant messaging software)under the Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML"). Qihoo accused Tencent for abusing its dominance in the market of online instant communications services and claimed damages of RMB 150,000,000. The court hearing lasted for more than 8 hours, and attracted an audience of almost 400 people.
As requested by the court, the hearing was divided into four sessions, dedicated to each of the four issues: market definition, dominant position, abusive conducts and legal liabilities. The hearing focused on the first three issues and both sides called in expert witnesses and had fierce debates over each of these issues.