Monday, October 22, 2012
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Ninette Dodoo & Angie Ng (both Clifford Chance) provide an Assessment of Information Technology Mergers in China.
ABSTRACT: In the four years since the enactment of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (AML), the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has attracted attention with its conditional clearance of mergers in the information technology (IT) sector. Amongst the 15 conditional clearances to date, three decisions involve transactions in the IT industry. These are Seagate Technology PLC’s (Seagate) acquisition of the hard disk drive (HDD) business of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Samsung); Western Digital Corp.’s (Western Digital) acquisition of the HDD business of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), later renamed Viviti Technologies Ltd.; and Google Inc.’s (Google) acquisition of Motorola Mobility (Motorola). Yet, these cases are but a few of the transactions, regulations and industrial policies that are shaping how competition law will be applied to the IT sector in China.
This article provides an overview of MOFCOM’s three conditional clearance decisions in the IT sector, considers MOFCOM’s approach to horizontal and nonhorizontal mergers in this sector, and draws out some of the implications for future IT mergers in the China context.